After Vanessa Place

Vanessa Place et Naomi Toth

Published on July 14, 2017 Updated on July 14, 2017

Dialogue between poet and artist Vanessa Place and Naomi Toth

Dust jacket

If Narcissus found himself wanting, Echo wants—for nothing. Slated to resound, she’s luckier than you or me, because she knows full well the desire to be is to be heard, and not seen. And the desire to be heard is largely a desire to hear back. This is her generosity. Her cruelty is that through this listening, you will be well seen.

Coming and going after is Echo’s affair; it is also the stuff of conversational pursuit. After Vanessa Place is an email exchange between poet and artist Vanessa Place and critic Naomi Toth on the backsides of speech and sight, where repeating and being conflate and confound in the trialectic of message, meaning, and motion. To be read as it is, or backwards, after the manner of history. And, echoing history, what’s missed calls for more.

‘The lovers’ discourse in the second act of Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier is interrupted by two eavesdroppers who seize the interlocutors and expose their
intimate tête-à-tête. In a quadruple macaronic relay the first cries ‘ecco’ [here], the second repeats the exclamation, and a sixteenth-note octave drop from the trombones and bassoons mimics the vocal cadence so that one can hear in ‘here’ the echo in ecco. Readers of the richly resonant and provocative dialogue in After Vanessa Place, by turns restive and illuminating, fun and rigorous, diverting in every sense of the word, will find themselves participating in the same drama.’

Craig Dworkin

‘Subverting the now traditional model of the conversation between a scholar and an artist/author, Vanessa Place and Naomi Toth set it in motion and provide us with an extraordinary correspondence from our new age, made of ‘responses and provocations’, where everything is profoundly lived and conceived. Matière de pensée et de vie.’
Donatien Grau

‘Dis-moi qui tu suis, je te dirai qui tu es. These quasi-Talmudic dialogues follow the proverb (and each other), asking whether it is true that ‘I am a poem, not a poet’ (Lacan). Echolalias cascade while Narcissus’s water-mirror takes fire in verbal pyrotechnics. The ‘I’ becomes a poet by performing what poems do. Do what? Stories of my life on the page; a place and a non-place fusing to usher in excessive beauty.’
Jean-Michel Rabaté

180 pages
140 mm x 205 mm
Format: Paperback
ISBN 978-1-910055-31-1


Updated on 14 juillet 2017