RaveWashington Post... a kind of action-adventure fable involving Victor, Michael, and a number of other friends and teachers. Here is the premise: Music — always capitalized and given feminine pronouns, and understood as a living entity — is sick and may be dying ... Of what? Wooten doesn’t really specify. This is not that kind of book. What kind of book is it? It’s a bit like Carlos Castaneda’s shamanist tales, a bit like tween fiction, a bit like websites on, say, sonic healing through principles of sacred geometry and — at its best — an enactment of epiphanies told in the ping-pong dialogue of its predecessor ... Your happiness as a reader will depend on how open you are to insights that recognize no coincidences, some of them from the crystal-indigo-rainbow file, as well as proposed, though not explained, secret-knowledge theories ... By the logic of this book, a lot of music made without \'real\' instruments — a lot of the music in the world right now, and some of the best — may start to look suspect. That’s too bad. Wooten is an includer, not a delimiter; he’s better at holistic teaching than veiled polemic.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewNox has no page numbers, and it’s accordion-folded. It carries a whiff of visual art multiple or gift shop souvenir...But trust me: it’s an Anne Carson book. Maybe her best ... There’s not much poetry in this one, yet the whole thing is poetry of a kind you’re not used to. Her words are often not very melodious ... she’s analytical, pedagogical, privately plain-spoken, stonily amused. In Nox, the linkage of ideas approaches a kind of music; the language works only in their service, without much extra show ... Her memories are not straight nonfiction, but rather her usual: poems becoming dialogues, essays becoming memoir, single words becoming sentence fragments ... Every thought runs together in Nox. Elegy and history are cousins, [Carson] explains, because they’re both forms of autopsy ... The book is totally recherché and weirdly clear, lingered over and neatly boxed, precious in the word’s best sense.
Positive4ColumnsThis Little Art is a non-straightforward critical book about the nature, necessity, and stakes of translation ... she writes in cubistic, subject-changing bursts and leaves rhetorical questions hanging open for unnerving lengths. The book can feel ingrown, elusive, and shaggy until its long-game structural and emotional logic becomes clear ... In a way, the book is a continuous redefinition of translation, with the stakes growing ever higher ... She has sectioned it unusually—not into chapters, but into meditations of varying length that leave off somewhat unpredictably and start afresh, unindented, on a new page. Rather than developing her argument sequentially, she keeps looping back to pick up an idea that was whispered ten pages earlier ... She is using novelistic means—what many would consider the big art—to give an interior life.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewRuefle’s humor is abundant but not cheap. She is strikingly uninterested in fitting any aspect of her writing into venerable literary shapes or voices. This feels like the exercising of a right ... Several of these pieces will make you want to read them out loud to amuse someone else...But My Private Property also grows very grim at times — almost without warning, and in streaks and pulses, not in a gathering wave. As a whole it is best read alone ... Her experience sounds dark, if we’re going to stay with color-talk. But its final effect, she suggests, was to communicate to her a kind of counterintuitive insight that goes beyond dark or light or good or bad.