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Selected Declarations of Dependence

Harry Mathews

Illustrated by Alex Katz

Digital Edition
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Digital Edition
Price: U.S. $5.00
Harry Mathews
Selected Declarations of Dependence
Series No.: SMC 128
ISBN: 978-1557132345, Pages: 198
American Literature, Poetry

A Sun & Moon title.

* * *

First published in 1977, Selected Declarations of Dependence has, like all the books by Harry Mathews, grown in reputation over the years of its unavailability. Sun & Moon Press now returns this remarkable text to print with a new introduction and the original Alex Katz illustrations. Selected Declarations of Dependence is based on a set of 46 familiar proverbs, used and abused in various ways. The proverbs provide the entire vocabulary of the opening story, "Their Words, For You." In the section called "Perverbs and Paraphrases," Mathews explores the narrative implications of the crossed proverb or "perverb," in which two regular proverbs are mixed ("A rolling stone leads to Rome"). The remaining uses of proverbs and perverbs and the "Sorites"—which bows to Lewis Carroll's demonstration of the form—all produce a hilarious text of familiar quotations gone amuck and reveal Mathews' involvement with the Oulipo.

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