Troy, Unincorporated (Phoenix Poets)

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9780226001203: Troy, Unincorporated (Phoenix Poets)
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A meditation on the nature of betrayal, the constraints of identity, and the power of narrative, the lyric monologues in Troy, Unincorporated offer a retelling, or refraction, of Chaucer’s tragedy Troilus and Criseyde. The tale’s unrooted characters now find themselves adrift in the industrialized farmlands, strip malls, and half-tenanted “historic” downtowns of south-central Wisconsin, including the real, and literally unincorporated, town of Troy. Allusive and often humorous, they retain an affinity with Chaucer, especially in terms of their roles: Troilus, the good courtly lover, suffers from the weeps, or, in more modern terms, depression. Pandarus, the hard-working catalyst who brings the lovers together in Chaucer’s poem, is here a car mechanic.

Chaucer’s narrator tells a story he didn’t author, claiming no power to change the course of events, and the narrator and characters in Troy, Unincorporated struggle against a similar predicament. Aware of themselves as literary constructs, they are paradoxically driven by the desire to be autonomous creatures—tale tellers rather than tales told. Thus, though Troy, Unincorporated follows Chaucer’s plot—Criseyde falls in love with Diomedes after leaving Troy to live with her father, who has broken his hip, and Troilus dies of a drug overdose—it moves beyond Troilus’s death to posit a possible fate for Criseyde on this “litel spot of erthe.”

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Review:

"With impeccable timing and a fine instinct for the telling detail, Francesca Abbate evokes the plenitudes and the deprivations of human habitation, the nurturing richness of landscape, and the soul-wound wrought by casual defacement. Abbate has a superb capacity for distillation and a mastery of poetic line, and her diction is remarkably flexible, accommodating both the demotic and the lyrical. Her poems are as consistent in quality as they are varied in pacing, surface, and tone. A fine first book."--Linda Gregerson, University of Michigan

With impeccable timing and a fine instinct for the telling detail, Francesca Abbate evokes the plenitudes and the deprivations of human habitation, the nurturing richness of landscape, and the soul-wound wrought by casual defacement. Abbate has a superb capacity for distillation and a mastery of poetic line, and her diction is remarkably flexible, accommodating both the demotic and the lyrical. Her poems are as consistent in quality as they are varied in pacing, surface, and tone. A fine first book. --Linda Gregerson, University of Michigan"

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This story really works in poetic form, the narrative propelled by diary-like observations and meditations. Eventually, the {Chorus: } confirms that heroes go down / singing. They go down / with mouths full of thorns. In Abbate s mouth, those thorns have kept their roses.
--Jeffrey Cyphers Wright "Brooklyn Rail ""

"This story really works in poetic form, the narrative propelled by diary-like observations and meditations. Eventually, the '{Chorus: }' confirms that 'heroes go down / singing. They go down / with mouths full of thorns.' In Abbate's mouth, those thorns have kept their roses."

--Jeffrey Cyphers Wright "Brooklyn Rail "

"Abbate's accomplishment continually rises like an unexpected yet inevitable encounter. . .This is a book that is deeply American and as steeped in classics as some of the best writing from our heartland over the centuries."--Barbara Berman "The Rumpus "

About the Author:

Francesca Abbate is associate professor of English at Beloit College. Her poetry has appeared in Field, Iowa Review, NEO, and Poetry, among others.

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Francesca Abbate
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ISBN 10: 0226001202 ISBN 13: 9780226001203
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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Daily it storms: dams give out, a lake in the next county empties, every river swells. And the story says this is love, this is hope, Silly. It's sorry, but it means to keep the afternoon as I left it: folding chairs at a folding table and the light wasp-colored, an old postcard of this was a factory town. And him (who won't be you, not again, nor still) setting the kettle on the ancient stove. On the table, a receipt he'd written on - something about God handing the world back to Job. A meditation on the nature of betrayal, the constraints of identity, and the power of narrative, the lyric monologues in "Troy", "Unincorporated" offer a retelling of Chaucer's tragedy "Troilus and Criseyde". The tale's unrooted characters now find themselves adrift in the industrialized farmlands, strip malls, and half-tenanted "historic" downtowns of south-central Wisconsin, including the real, and literally unincorporated, town of Troy. Allusive and often humorous, they retain an affinity with Chaucer, especially in terms of their roles: Troilus, the courtly lover, suffers from depression. Pandarus, the hardworking catalyst who brings the lovers together in Chaucer's poem, is here a car mechanic.Aware of themselves as literary constructs, the narrator and characters in "Troy", "Unincorporated" are paradoxically driven by the desire to be autonomous creatures - tale tellers rather than tales told. Thus, through "Troy", "Unincorporated" follows Chaucer's plot, it moves beyond Chaucer to posit a possible fate for Criseyde on this "litel spot of erthe.". Seller Inventory # AAH9780226001203

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