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Wakenight Emporium, Wakenight Emporium, 157366104X, 1-57366-104-X, 978-1-57366-104-1, 9781573661041,

Wakenight Emporium
by A. B. West

Quality Paper
2002. 100 pp.
Price:  $14.95 s

In thirty-one vertiginous meditations, A.B. West reflects on the planet, the universe, dying, living, and what it means to be a being-in-time, all sorts of time: wide time, quick time, pure time. West attaches time to everything tangible, from procreation to Bach, from martians to relativity theory, and from the fifth dimension to the palindrome moth. Magically, this spinning text moves and clarifies. Simply. Cleanly. Wakenight Emporium holds much for the philosopher, much for the poet, but there are also boundless riches here for the physicist, as West fascinates us with force, motion, velocity, and gravity. Her writing is the love-child of Einstein and Heidegger, obsessed with clicks of the second hand, the intricacies of now, the visible penetrations of genius. And in the midst of all, this book wants to blow the reader's head open. What remains in the half-state between dreams and waking is a universe of stars.

A. B. West lives in Belgium, where she has worked with the avant-garde theater company, Théâtre Laboratoire Vicinal. She performed and collaborated on the original plays Tramp, Lunapark and Chaman Hooligan. She was the director and sole actress of the play "I"- with a text by Frédéric Baal, and 7 sculpture/stage-properties by Belgian sculptor Olivier Strebelle, which toured worldwide, including performances at the Guggenheim, the Brooklyn Academy, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art among other venues. West has also been an agent, an editor for Wall Street Journal Europe, a free-lance translator and a copywriter.

"These thirty-one rhetorical riffs are almost literally spell-binding; West's Wakenight Emporium is a magicked work of words. Both abstract and specific, far-ranging and precisely, the voice of the speaker here dazzles---and it does so with power and wit. A startling tentative as well as high-gloss finished product, this stay against confusion feels ambitious as well as achieved. 'Watchwoman, what of the night'" --Nicholas Delbanco, author of What Remains

"A moody, intimate and lucid meditation on time, space, and mortality, Wakenight Emporium mysteriously awakens in the reader deep, primordial, shadow longings. It is rare to experience a work of prose that inspires such wishfulness and hope, that suggests such option and possibility and at the same time such limitation. A beautiful, moving and ineffably sad book. I feel lucky to have read it." --Carole Maso

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