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My Year 2004: Under Our Skin

Douglas Messerli

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Douglas Messerli
My Year 2004: Under Our Skin
Series No.: 259
ISBN: 9781933382807, Pages: 410
American Literature, Memoir

Buy the My Year series (14 books)


This, the second volume in Messerli's ongoing "cultural memoirs" stretching from 2000 and moving forward until the end of his life, considers things "under the skin," readings, events, and memories that, piercing the epidermal layer, course through our blood, representing our essence, defining and demonstrating concerns that reveal who we really are.Sex, gender, race, class, our social gatherings of friends, family, and relatives—these things are deeply lodged within us, determining how we act and what we think, what we love and what we hate—representing the terrible itch of our desires.

In his ongoing attempt to write about a life defined by cultural experiences, Messerli explores art, music, dance, fiction, poetry, history, politics, film, television, and popular cultural events in 2004, along with pieces connected to the theme of this year about composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein, songwriter Cole Porter, sex analyst Alfred Kinsey, three authors of books about children of the 1950s (J. D. Salinger, Vladimir Nabokov, and James Purdy), as well as literary friends Marjorie Perloff, Jackson Mac Low, Carl Rakosi, Charles Bernstein, and Brian Evenson. World authors Arthur Schnitzler, Alain-Fournier, Inger Christensen, Colin Macinnes, Jacques Jouet, and Roland Schimmelpfennig share the stage with Messerli's memories of his first days in Los Angeles and his compendious discussion of innovative poetry in southern California. Once more, he hopes for a slowly evolving interconnection of societal encounters—both national and international-that only upon its completion might explain a life.

As PN Review noted of My Year 2005: "...Messerli attempts to build up a portrait of the kind of 'cultural sensor' he appears to be by eschewing the self-censorship the singular form of the memoir might impose and by composing via a collaging of articles, interviews and anecdotes...It is colourfully and anecdotally written and the affection Messerli has for his friends and previous selves is palpable."

Author of the fiction Letters from Hanneuse (written under the pseudonym of Joshua Haigh), collection;, in poetry First Words, After, Bow Down, Maxims from My Mother's Milk and the forthcoming Dark, performative pieces such as Along Without and The Walls Come True, and plays (under the name Kier Peters) such as The Confirmation, Past Present Future Tense, and A Dog Tries to Kiss the Sky, Messerli is the editor of Green Integer, formerly Sun & Moon Press. He also edits the renowned PIP (Project for Innovative Poetry) series of international poetry anthologies. In 2004 he was named Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.

Also by Douglas Messerli:
After [Sun & Moon], $9.95
Bow Down, $9.95
Dark, $9.95
Dinner on the Lawn [Sun & Moon], $14.95
First Words, $9.95
Maxims from My Mother's Milk / Hymns to Him: A Dialogue [Sun & Moon], Out of Stock
Maxims from My Mother's Milk / Hymns to Him: A Dialogue (hardcover) [Sun & Moon], $9.95
My Year 2000: Leaving Something Behind, $17.95
My Year 2001: Keeping History a Secret, $17.95
My Year 2002: Love, Death, and Transfiguration, $9.95
My Year 2003: Voice Without a Voice, $9.95
My Year 2005: Terrifying Times, $9.95
My Year 2006: Serving, $9.95
My Year 2007: To the Dogs, $9.95
My Year 2008: In the Gap, $9.95
My Year 2009: Facing the Heat, $9.95
My Year 2010: Shadows, $9.95
My Year 2011: No One's Home , $9.95
My Year 2012: Centers Collapse, $17.95
My Year 2013: Murderers and Angels, $17.95
On Marriage: The Imagination of Being, $9.95
Reading Films: My International Cinema, Digital Only
River to Rivet: A Manifesto [Sun & Moon], $14.95
Silence All Round Marked: An Historical Play in Hysteria Writ [Sun & Moon], $9.95
Some Distance, Out of Stock
Stay, $9.95
The Walls Come True: An Opera for Spoken Voices (The Structure of Destruction, Part II) [Sun & Moon], $14.95

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