Item description for My Life (Green Integer Books, 39) by Lyn Hejinian...
Recognized today as one of the great works of contemporary American literature, My Life is at once poetic autobiography, personal narrative, a woman's fiction, and an ongoing dialogue with the poet and her experience. Upon its first publication by Sun & Moon Press (the edition reprinted here) the publication Library Journal described the book as one that "is an intriguing journey that both illuminates and perplexes, teases and challenges, as it reveals an innovative artist at work."
Lyn Hejinian is the author of The Cell, The Cold of Poetry, Writing Is an Aid to Memory and A Border Comedy. She lives in Berkeley and teaches at the University of California.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.06" Width: 4.42" Height: 0.44" Weight: 0.29 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2002
Publisher Green Integer
ISBN 1931243336 ISBN13 9781931243339
Availability 0 units.
More About Lyn Hejinian
Lyn Hejinian is a poet, essayist, and translator. Her groundbreaking book of poetry, MY LIFE, published by Sun & Moon/Green Integer, has had five reprintings from 1980-2002. Her most recent books include A BORDER COMEDY (Granary Books, 2001), SLOWLY and THE BEGINNER (both published by Tuumba Press, 2002), THE FATALIST (Omnidawn, 2003), and SAGA/CIRCUS (Omnidawn, 2008). The University of California Press published a collection of her essays entitled The Language of Inquiry in 2000. In the spring of 2007, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She teaches in the English Department at the University of California, Berkeley.
Lyn Hejinian currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York. Lyn Hejinian was born in 1941.
Reviews - What do customers think about My Life (Green Integer Books, 39)?
My Life Jun 18, 2008
If you like poetry, disguised as prose, with sentences oddly juxtaposed enlarging their possible meaning (I do), then read this autobiography.
Cryptic, yet Beautiful Dec 1, 2007
I'm no college graduate, so I don't know how useful a review by me would be, but I have read this book twice now and can give a rudimentary review. I'm sure I can give nothing as well as my professor has given, though.
If you're looking for a plot or storyline, look elsewhere. You won't find it here. If what you're looking for is experimental poetry that grasps beauty, then here it is. This book is great for bathroom reading or to discuss with your highly intellectual friends. I can't imagine anybody reading this book who doesn't enjoy the intellectual fittings of life.
I guarantee, no matter how bright you are, you'll get lost reading this book. What's going on? What does she mean? Will we ever know? Well, no, not really. But I suppose that's not the point. I believe the point here is that every reader is allowed to pluck which meaning they wish from the text, and create whichever story lines they wish. Fortunately, it is written in very short increments for the attention impaired, such as myself.
The exposition itself is brilliant. There are as many chapters as there were years in her life when she wrote the book, and there are as many sentences in each chapter as there are chapters. I stole the idea myself the first time I read the book and wrote a memoir called "My Crib of My Life." People liked it (or at least they said they did.) Of course my memoir was nowhere as cryptic or as beautiful. If cryptic and beautiful are what you are looking for, then you will definitely find it here.
Life as Language Jul 5, 2007
This was a difficult read for me, personally. I was intrigued by what the poet was trying to accomplish, but I found myself often drifiting off because I wanted line breaks to help move me through the poem.
Hejinian's poems are very dense but although difficult to read, quite fascinating. I was drawn to the way she used repetition throughout the poems; in particular I was impressed by the way she used specific lines in their entirety in different poems throughout the book to given a reverberation to the life she is chronicling.
This is a must read for any modern poet and is a great collection for instruction. The everday reader, however, may find this a difficult group of poems to get into because of their densitry, but we should all be up for adventure and challenge :)
A Must Feb 5, 2006
In order to fully understand the postmodern world, the subversive industry of autobiograpy, the collision between poetry and prose, the influence of hybridity, and the potential of revision any reader of contemporary poetry needs to begin here.
The writing is complex without being hermetic. Difficult without being resistant. My Life is a necessary text. Generous in its insights, its complicated declarations. This is a perfect marriage of philosophy, poetry, and mathematics.
Read this always and often.
A classic May 26, 2004
The structure of this book with 45 poems of 45 sentences, one for each year of Hejinian's life, makes the reading of the book like a scale miniature (5 minutes to 1 year) life. It makes you think about your own life and about the relative duration of life events. I read this book right after my first kid was born and I was continually thinking about the possible effect of this event on my life through time.
The book's stucture also allows Hejinian the freedom to stretch out without losing the reader. If you get lost on one poem, you are right back on track for the next one.