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"Structured chronologically, from the arrival of the first immigrant to Mannahatta in 1613 to our abstracted now, the book reads as a shadow history of modernity, of its reasons and unreasons. Paralleling this arc, the struggle for voice—voice qua subjectivity—threads through the collection, through the silences, constrictions, compromises, and revolutions." From Brick 97 "The Review: Counternarratives by John Keene."
Keene translates Hilst’s "In Letters from a Seducer," in which Karl, an erudite and amoral man, writes letters to Cordelia, his chaste sister. The letters' text intertwine with the life of the poet Stamatius.