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Supermodel [Paperback]

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Item description for Supermodel by David Breskin...

Epic poems need epic heroes---divine, fantastic creatures, whose larger than life exploits project the spirit of an age. Homer's had Odysseus, Dante's Beatrice, and now David Breskin has bequeathed our celebrity-obsessed era its very own form-fitting 'Supermodel'. Loosely inspired by the story of tsunami survivor Petra Nemcova, the heroine of Supermodel is an outsized force of nature: fiercely competitive, intellectually curious, emotionally wounded, resolutely moral, and of course, ravishingly attractive---a globe-trotting innocent who exudes sexuality in every way, except the most obvious.As she literally clings to life, her story is revealed in a series of flashbacks which wing us from Middle East to Wild West, desert to tropics, country to city---all vividly described, in potent couplets, as paradises found and lost.Breskin peppers this dark comedy with unsettling wordplay, shrewd social commentary, and a reporter's acute eye for the facts of life: his virtuosic writing matches the breathless pace and rich complexity of his heroine's travails. But even as Breskin relates his supermodel's tale, his story is matched by strangely salient scrolls of 'found poetry' culled from web sites.This new feat of literary dovetailing creates a sublime surprise: the first epic poem of the Internet Age.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 8.4" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 12, 2006
Publisher   Soft Skull Press
ISBN  193336842X  
ISBN13  9781933368429  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Breskin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Breskin is the author of a three books of poems, FRESH KILLS (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1997), Escape Velocity (Soft Skull Press, 2004), and Supermodel (Soft Skull Press, 2006); a novel, The Real Life Diary of a Boomtown Girl (Viking, 1989); a play, "Kids in the Dark"; a collection of interviews with film directors Francis Coppola, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Clint Eastwood, Robert Altman and Tim Burton, Inner Views: Filmmakers in Conversation (Faber and Faber, 1992) and reprinted in a new and expanded edition by Da Capo in 1997; and a book and CD collaboration of poems and paintings and music with Ed Ruscha and Wilco's Nels Cline, DIRTY BABY (Prestel, 2010). His poems have appeared in many periodicals, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, DoubleTake, TriQuarterly, NEW AMERICAN WRITING, Parnassus, Salmagundi, Quarterly West, and Boulevard.

David Breskin currently resides in San Francisco, in the state of California. David Breskin was born in 1958.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Supermodel?

hot pink  Dec 18, 2006
SUPERMODEL is a consummately contemporary poem - a 21st century multimedia cocktail in both form and substance. Its interlocking twin themes of beauty and simulation combine to create a narrative of effortless force and speed - a strange mirror of our own surface-obsessed world. The strong pleasure-factor of the poem - the compelling narrative, titillating anecdotal detours, and at times laugh-out-loud funny parallel internet strings - conceals a deeply conceptual exploration of poetic structure and the possibilities for meaning.

The particular genius of SUPERMODEL is Breskin's ability to represent a contemporary consciousness which is at once light and critical. Because we recognize ourselves in the protagonist, the poem is eminently readable and almost effortlessly consumable. We drift merrily along the glittering surfaces of its narrative arc, filled with perfect bodies and model families. And yet at the same time there are deeply critical undercurrents of military culture, teenage violence, narcissim, and sexual perversion.

The internet samples which complement the primary narrative emphasize this sense of drift. Today, we all surf the internet. And to some extent how we process this information both manifests and develops our own personal taste. Breskin's poem captures the fractured aspects of this internet culture we all inhabit: the endless statistical froth; the sensational sexuality; the relentless taxonomizing of virtual communities; and most importantly, the lure of transcendence which lurks like a ghost, just one more mouse click away.
Brave New World  Nov 25, 2006
As an American boy growing up in France, I always had a subscription to American Sports Illustrated, provided by a kindly family friend concerned that I would grow up without athletic resources. Every year came the famous swimsuit issue, which the local post office would hold for me under separate cover, perhaps not trusting their postman to deliver it to us in toto. The heroine of David Breskin's new novel in verse is a SI swimsuit supermodel who now faces the gravest crisis of her young life, as she clings to a palm tree in Thailand in the wake of a giant tsunami a la Petra Nemcova in Sri Lanka, without much hope but with a whole scrapbook of family and glamor memories to fall back on.

In a way, her story reminded me of a postmodern take on Mary Westmacott's famous 1940s novel ABSENT IN THE SPRING, another story in which a narcissistic young woman, thrown on her own devices while isolated waiting for help, realizes briefly something of the falsity of her existence up to this moment, and vows however evanescently to reform her ways. Breskin also brings into play another trope of the moment, the novel in which three generations of women grow old and have epiphanies, for our girl here comes from a long line of Latvian and Swedish ancestors right out of a Selma Lagerlof tetralogy. But most of all it is her place in today's confusing, swirling world of mass media and compulsory commodification that Breskin skewers, almost as though he's saying, it would take a natural disaster of Katrina proportions to undo, no, even to slow down, the entropic prescriptions of our day.

As there is Flarf poetry today, the most talked-about poetry of our time, so Breskin has achieved a sort of Flarf novel, as the main storyline is always being interrupted,. interrogated, held hostage by an equivalent stream of "outside" material drawn from Google and other internet searches. This material, given prominence by italics, weaves in and out of the multitudinous supermodel meets tsunami plot and gives it heft and weight as the old USA trilogy of John Dos Passos wove headlines, obituary, newsreel footage, et al into its fictional strains.

But in execution this heavily theorized way of working turns out to be just delightful, as SUPERMODEL becomes a TEMPEST for the 21st Century, its heroine a marooned Miranda, with Ariel as an Avedon-like photographer, a hidden Prospero, and a truly monstrous Caliban. It's more fun than you'd possibly imagine.
Unputdownable  Nov 21, 2006
This is a revolutionary book, but don't let that scare you away. It's riveting to read -- surprising, quick, funny, smart and brilliantly conceived. Get it!

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