To [The] Men and [The] Women of Toronto, listen up:
The most excellent Lisa Robertson will be reading with Lise Downe at This Ain’t The Rosedale Library in Kensington Market on November 16th. Don’t miss your chance to see her read! You can see a full profile of The Men, one of our favourite books, here. And for your pleasure, here are the poet’s notes to the collection (borrowed from the Test Reading Series Website):
Who are the men? The men are a riddle. What do they want? Their troubles become lyric. The Men explores a territory between the poet and a lyric lineage among men. Following a tradition the includes Petrarch’s sonnets, Cavalcanti, Dante’s works on the vernacular, Montaigne, and even Kant, I am compelled towards the construction of the textual subjectivity these authors convey — a subjectivity that honours all the ambivalence, doubt, and tenderness of the human. Yet I remain angered by the structure of gender these books advance. It is this troubled texture of identification that I examine in The Men. How does a woman of the present century see herself, in men’s lyric texts of the renaissance, in the tradition of the philosophy of the male subject, as well as in the men that surround her, obfuscating, dear, idiotic and gorgeous as they often seem? What if ‘she’ wrote ‘his’ poems? The Men seeks to defamiliarize both who, and what men are.