David Auerbach on literature, tech, film, etc.

Tag: william bronk

Books of the Year 2012

So many books, so many books. I consciously tried to expand my reading horizons this year, which has helped to swell my reading list to unmanageable lengths.  Sifting out worthy entries in disciplines with which I’m not especially familiar is not at all easy, so sometimes I just have to go on faith that apparent hard work, diligence, and care have resulted in an enlightening end product.

Krasznahorkai’s Satantango is certainly for me the book of the year, though in its way Lucan’s Civil War was as well, and I was very happy to have William Bronk‘s later poetry collected.

I have hardly read all of all of the nonfiction selections–I’ll be lucky if I ever read the Bailyn book cover to cover–but they have all been of note to me at least as reference or inspiration. Some stragglers from 2011 have snuck in as well.

If anyone’s curious as to why some book or other made the list, feel free to ask in the comments. Reviews on a couple are forthcoming.

(As always, I do not make any money from these links–this was just by far the simplest way to get thumbnails and metadata.)


Krasznahorkai, László (Author), Szirtes, George (Translator)
(New Directions)

Galley Slave (Slovenian Literature)
Drago Jancar (Author), Michael Biggins (Translator)
(Dalkey Archive Press)

Bursts of Light: The Collected Later Poems
Bronk, William (Author)
(Talisman House, Publishers)

Wild Dialectics
Samuels, Lisa (Author)
(Shearsman Books)

Albahari, David (Author), Elias-Bursac, Ellen (Translator)
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Marginalia on Casanova: St. Orpheus Breviary I
Szentkuthy, Mikl S. (Author), Wilkinson, Tim (Translator), Bianu, Zeno (Introduction)
(Contra Mundum Press)

Every Short Story by Alasdair Gray 1951-2012
Gray, Alasdair (Author)
(Canongate Books)

The Snail's Song
Ifland, Alta (Author)
(Spuyten Duyvil)

An Ermine in Czernopol (New York Review Books Classics)
Rezzori, Gregor Von (Author), Boehm, Philip (Translator), Kehlmann, Daniel (Introduction)
(NYRB Classics)

Berlin Stories (New York Review Books Classics)
Walser, Robert (Author), Greven, Jochen (Editor), Bernofsky, Susan (Translator), Bernofsky, Susan (Introduction)
(NYRB Classics)

Life Sentences: Literary Judgments and Accounts
Gass, William H. (Author)

Happy Moscow (New York Review Books Classics)
Platonov, Andrey (Author), Chandler, Robert (Translator), Chandler, Elizabeth (Translator), Bourova, Nadya (Translator), Chandler, Robert (Introduction)
(NYRB Classics)

Civil War (Penguin Classics)
Lucan (Author), Fox, Matthew (Translator), Fox, Matthew (Introduction), Adams, Ethan (Introduction)
(Penguin Classics)

Petersburg (Penguin Classics)
Bely, Andrei (Author), McDuff, David (Translator), Thirlwell, Adam (Introduction)
(Penguin Classics)

Tyrant Banderas (New York Review Books Classics)
Valle-Inclan, Ramon del (Author), Bush, Peter (Translator), Manguel, Alberto (Introduction)
(NYRB Classics)

The Person I Am Volume One (Laura (Riding) Jackson Series Book 1)
(Riding) Jackson, Laura (Author), Friedmann, Carroll Ann (Editor), Nolan, John (Editor)
(Trent Editions)

The Person I Am Volume Two (Laura (Riding) Jackson Series Book 2)
(Riding) Jackson, Laura (Author), Jacobs - Series, Mark (Editor), Friedmann, Carroll Ann (Editor), Nolan, John (Editor)
(Trent Editions)

The Holocaust as Culture
Kertész, Imre (Author), Cooper, Thomas (Translator)
(Seagull Books)

Minuet for Guitar (in Twenty-Five Shots) (Slovenian Literature)
Zupan, Vitomil (Author), Leeming, Harry (Translator)
(Dalkey Archive Press)

Mathematics: (French Literature)
Roubaud, Jacques (Author), Monk, Ian (Translator)
(Dalkey Archive Press)

The Museum of Abandoned Secrets
Oksana Zabuzhko (Author), Shevchuk-Murray, Nina (Translator)
(Amazon Crossing)



Black Paths
B., David (Author)

Ralph Azham: Why Would You Lie To Someone You Love
Trondheim, Lewis (Author), Trondheim, Lewis (Artist)
(Fantagraphics Books)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes
Barks, Carl (Author)



Oral Literature in Africa (World Oral Literature Series Book 1)
Finnegan, Ruth (Author)
(Open Book Publishers)

Levenson, Michael (Author)
(Yale University Press)

Apoha: Buddhist Nominalism and Human Cognition
Siderits, Mark (Editor), Tillemans, Tom (Editor), Chakrabarti, Arindam (Editor)
(Columbia University Press)

Essays in Ancient and Modern Historiography
Momigliano, Arnaldo (Author)
(University of Chicago Press)

Acolytes of Nature: Defining Natural Science in Germany, 1770-1850
Phillips, Denise (Author)
(University of Chicago Press)

Memory: Fragments of a Modern History
Winter, Alison (Author)
(University of Chicago Press)

The Lucretian Renaissance: Philology and the Afterlife of Tradition
Passannante, Gerard (Author)
(University of Chicago Press)

Regimens of the Mind: Boyle, Locke, and the Early Modern Cultura Animi Tradition
Corneanu, Sorana (Author)
(University of Chicago Press)

Literary Names: Personal Names in English Literature
Fowler, Alastair (Author)
(Oxford University Press)

German Philosophy of Language: From Schlegel to Hegel and beyond
Forster, Michael N. (Author)
(Oxford University Press)

Fictions of the Cosmos: Science and Literature in the Seventeenth Century
Aït-Touati, Frédérique (Author), Emanuel, Susan (Translator)
(University of Chicago Press)

Reality: A Very Short Introduction
Westerhoff, Jan (Author)
(Oxford University Press)

American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas
Ratner-Rosenhagen, Jennifer (Author)
(University of Chicago Press)

Galinsky, Karl (Author)
(Cambridge University Press)

Cultural Memory and Western Civilization: Functions, Media, Archives
Assmann, Aleida (Author)
(Cambridge University Press)

Cultural Memory and Early Civilization
Assmann, Jan (Author)
(Cambridge University Press)

Thinking, Fast and Slow
Kahneman, Daniel (Author)
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame
Boehm, Christopher (Author)
(Basic Books)

The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire
Flannery, Kent (Author), Marcus, Joyce (Author)
(Harvard University Press)

More than Real: A History of the Imagination in South India
Shulman, David (Author)
(Harvard University Press)

The Twenty-Five Years of Philosophy: A Systematic Reconstruction
Förster, Eckart (Author), Bowman, Brady (Translator)
(Harvard University Press)

The Hermeneutic Nature of Analytic Philosophy: A Study of Ernst Tugendhat
Santiago Zabala (Author), Gianni Vattimo (Foreword)
(Columbia University Press)

Explorations in Ancient and Modern Philosophy 2 Volume Hardback Set
Burnyeat, M. F. (Author)
(Cambridge University Press)

Governing the World: The History of an Idea
Mazower, Mark (Author)
(Penguin Press)


William Bronk: There Is Ignorant Silence in the Center of Things

Because it is that gloomy sort of week:

There Is Ignorant Silence in the Center of Things

What am I saying? What have I got to say?
As though I knew. But I don’t. I look around
almost in a sort of despair for anything
I know. For anything. Some mislaid bit.
I must have had it somewhere, somewhere here.
Nothing. There is silence here. Were there people, once?
They must have all gone off. No, there are still
people, still a few. But the sound is off.
If we could talk, could hear each other speak
could we piece something, could we learn and teach,
      could we know?

Hopeless. Off in the distance, busyness.
Something building or coming down. Cries.
Clamor. Fuss at the edges. What? Here,
at the center — it is the center? — only the sound
of silence, that mocking sound. Awful. Once,
before this, I stood in an actual ruin, a street
no longer a street, in a town no longer a town,
and felt the central, strong suck of it, not
understanding what I felt: the heart of things.
This nothing. This full silence. To not know.

William Bronk

Reflections on this poem and Bronk’s style to come.

William Bronk: In Contempt of Worldliness

In Contempt of Worldliness

Granted it may be true as is said,
is as, ourselves, we make it, or granted if you want,
there’s no place else for us, but even so,
isn’t it right we feel contempt for those
too much at home here? How one comes
to despise all worldliness! World, world!
We cling like animal young to the flanks of the world
to show our belonging; but to be at ease here
in mastery, were to make too light of the world
as if it were less than it is: the unmasterable.
Strangely, the same thing makes too light
of us, as though it mattered this world, to us.

William Bronk

[This is for flowerville.]

© 2021 Waggish

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑