Saturday, May 14, 2011

Indie Reviews:

Early Pleasures:

$16.00  Available from Black Heron Press, Midpoint Trade books, Ingram, Baker & Taylor and Most Other Wholesalers.  However, the publisher would prefer you purchase Early Pleasures from your local Independent Bookstore.

Written in the early 1970’s, Kohner’s Early Pleasures was discovered only after his death. This first, posthumous edition released by Black Heron Press marks yet another reason to hail the indie publishing world as the foundation of modern literature.  Kohner’s fictionalized account of his adolescent sexual adventures in Austria and Paris in the early years following World War I comes across as an absorbing, beautiful and tender journey through the human condition. Flashes of Proustian recollections, complimented by a subtle, yet poetic elegance make Early Pleasures not only an important work, but a necessary chronicling of Peacetime Europe, as seen through the eyes of a brilliant and reclusive young poet.

From the frustrations of unrequited love, to the suicidal tendencies of the desperate and lovelorn, Kohner’s glimpse into the wine of youth lacks nothing.  I’ve read Early Pleasures, and I am reading it again, as this magnificent piece of literature has the potential to mean as much to my generation as it may have to Kohner’s had it been published thirty of forty years earlier.

—Daniel Kine, Author of Between Nowhere and Happiness  

A novel,
Charles Nauman
Plain View Press

       Filmmaker, poet and novelist Charles Nauman’s latest work, Pola, The
Mysterious Communications of a Gone Woman (available now from Plain
View Press) is a psychologically driven journey into the “sacred
unity” of art, mind and nature.  The narrative follows a “gone woman”
named Pola who, in Nauman’s words, has drifted into a nether-land of
mystery and discovery.  “Her wounds of schizophrenic madness are met
with the equally wounded voices of her equally wounded lover, a
soldier boy she sees murdered as he flees into the forest.”
       While Nauman is no doubt covering familiar ground by delving into the
mental and spiritual wounds of human madness, the fresh, distinctive
voice he brings to the genre is remarkable.  Nauman’s prose is a
flagrant and vividly poetic compliment to a purposely nomadic
narrative that moves between its characters divided introspection, and
fanatical exploits.
       Overall, Pola is a success, in that Nauman has accomplished precisely
what he set out to accomplish with this novel.  His blend of poetry
and introspection does indeed force its reader to consider
consciousness beyond its typical potential.  That said, Pola is not
merely the story of a disturbed woman, rather it is the story of a
broken society that has, in all its wisdom, failed to break the
surface of human suffering.  Nauman’s Pola, in this regard, is one of
the very few of its kind—it is a carefully constructed, intensely
lyrical translation of a harrowing and unconventional look at love,
loss and the ensuing madness.  Nauman’s expedition into psychology,
mythology and the human condition is fascinating, sensitive and, above
all, engaging.
                                                     --Indie Literature Now

The Seeker Is The Sought
Marvin Richard Montney
Outskirts Press, $15.95

            Marvin Richard Montney is a prize-winning American poet, novelist and playwright.  The Seeker Is The Sought, a collection of his poetry spanning some forty years,  symbolizes the culmination of Montney’s range and aptitude as a poet.  Separated into three “clusters,” Montney’s poems carry the reader through a lyrical maze of love, joy and empowerment.  “Poetry, Montney claims, gives insight into the reflexive processes and structures known to lovers alone.”
            What sets The Seeker Is The Sought apart from other collections of poetry is Montney’s ambitious direction.  With each “cluster,” comes a carefully calculated objective.  With deft rhythm and a both vivid and powerful capability to bring image to language, Montney’s poems evoke an almost unnatural curiosity. 
            Each poem in this collection suggests a powerfully intimacy capable of reaching a diverse range of readers.  In the end, Montney’s intriguing and ambitious insights into the psyche of love are a success in that they stir enough emotion in their reader to be deemed worth reading and rereading.  


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