" Your canon, as everyone knows, is sui generis: in all of literature, there is nothing quite like it. But to add to the body of the text the text of the body--what an innovation, what a perfect complement to all that has gone before..."

open letter book review
by jerome klinkowitz


AN AUTHORIZED "OPEN LETTER" BOOK REVIEW BY JEROME KLINKOWITZ EXCLUSIVELY FOR SMOKEBOX

April 19, 2005

Hey [Raymond] Federman !!!!!!! --

What a wonderful book: My Body in Nine Parts. Your publisher in Buffalo sent me an announcement, and I ordered a copy at once--glad I did, as it was really something to read.

Hey Federman: I've dealt with your voice for years, fortunate to hear it in person so many times. And shared space with your body, in my home and in yours, and in lecture halls here and there. I've even FED IT--remember that fantastic dinner I treated you across the border from Buffalo, in Canada, when I met Erica for the first time and you met Julie?

But in all these years your body was featured as a creature of your text, created out of the words you were punching onto the page--creating yourself. Coming out of the closet, surrounded by noodles, suspended in the giant pine tree with your Buick Special, and so forth. Your voice was in the text, as it should be for those works.

Now, however, you've let your body have the first word. What a brilliant move, given everywhere your texts have taken it. And it speaks brilliantly, movingly, convincingly, and above all honestly. It's that simple honesty with yourself that says the most. My Body in Nine Parts is at once your least pyrotechnic and most spectacular book, because the spectacle is yourself unadorned--or rather adorned simply by what you and your history say to the readers.

Your canon, as everyone knows, is sui generis: in all of literature, there is nothing quite like it. But to add to the body of the text the text of the body--what an innovation, what a perfect complement to all that has gone before.

Hey, Federman! Anyone who has read you knows you know how to write, and anyone who has known you knows you know how to live. This new book puts those two bodies of knowledge together in the most pleasurable way imaginable.

Best,

Jerry [Klinkowitz]


BOOK TITLE: MY BODY IN NINE PARTS
SUBTITLE: With 10 Photographs by Steve Murez
AUTHOR: RAYMOND FEDERMAN
PUBLISHER: STARCHERONE BOOKS
BOOK TOUR: Appearances throughout late Summer and Fall in San Diego, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Chicago, Buffalo, New York City, and elsewhere in the U.S., and Paris, Berlin, etc. abroad.
ONLINE: http://www.starcherone.com/federman.htm


Jerome Klinkowitz is Professor of English and University Distinguished Scholar at the University of Northern Iowa. He has written more than 30 books on literature, music, philosophy, art, sports, military historiography, and contemporary culture, including Literary Disruptions, Short Season and The Life of Fiction.

Born in France in 1928, Raymond Federman emigrated to the U.S. in 1947. His many books include Double or Nothing (1971), Take It or Leave It (1976), Smiles on Washington Square (1985), To Whom It May Concern (1990), and My Body in 9 Parts (2005). Federman's novels have been translated into German, Italian, French, Hungarian, Polish, Serbian, Rumanian, Hebrew, Dutch, Greek, Japanese, and Chinese.


archive index | current issue


©2005 Jerome Klinkowitz • Smokebox
Smokebox is a non-commercial, volunteer driven e-zine