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The Grimoire of Grimalkin (Salt Modern Poets) Hardcover – 11 Nov 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Salt Publishing; First Edition edition (11 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844713091
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844713097
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,799,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Review

Sasha Akhtar's Grimoire of Grimalkin, a contemporary masterpiece, is appropriately titled, for it is indeed a textbook of magic and there is certainly something feline but devilish about the voice we hear. This modern-day Liber de occulta philosophia reads like a wassail of honey meade distilled through concepts, as is when we read that "Egalite sounds like a burp" (p. 9). The magic this grimoire offers to der Zauberlehrling is that of words themselves, spells for spelling the world anew, for divining the words that lie beneath the surface, for summoning communication where it is not: "She loves him / this dead man / girlfriend tells / stories in French / subtitled in Vietnamese" (p.13). This work by a master smith is written in language-not in a language, but in language. The scurrying of energies that carry the reader along communicate to the reader in their very inter-communication with each other. The spell lasts from beginning to end. Read it. -- Phillip John Usher, Lecturer in French and Comparative Literature at Barnard College (Columbia University). Dans son Grimoire, Sasha Akhtar nous montre des intestins et de l'intelligence : elle n'ignore pas que, pour que la philosophie occulte soit digne de ce nom, il ne faut pas trop dire. Ce livre, voulu par la matiere dont il se nourrit, est un mugissement sans nom. Le lecteur aura peur parfois d'etre dupe, il aura peur parfois d'etre devenu sorcier a son tour, il aura peur parfois d'avoir refait le monde a son image, puis s'arrachera les yeux. La poesie contemporaine attendait ce livre. -- Christian Zorka, auteur de Sieges (Montreal: Le Quartanier, 2006). www.christianzorka.com

About the Author

Sascha Aurora Akhtar was born in Pakistan. Since that was obviously a mistake, she fled as soon as possible to an environment where women could be wacky. What was born was a hydra. Each head a different medium, via which to transmit her wyrd and whimsical witchery. She graduated from Bennington College in 1999. She has written all too many poems, out of which some have managed to become titled collections. Her films include Ana-el-Haqq (2002) and The Sea and Medusa (2006). In 2003 she received a fellowship from the Creative Writing department at UMASS Amherst where she worked with James Tate, Sabina Murray and Peter Gizzi. In 2005 and 2006, she performed in Butoh-based dance pieces at Chisenhale Dance Space in London. She recently was part of a year-long initiative by the International Museum of Women in San Francisco, exhibiting work by women artists from around the globe. Her photographic work was on display at Gallery 27 on Cork Street in September 2007 and an exhibition of her works is upcoming in Spring 2008 at The Commune in Karachi, Pakistan. She spends her time in London and Pakistan and is the co-producer of the successful La Langoustine Est Morte reading series.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Interesting book, I don't like writing about poetry so this will probably come across as simplistic and too subjective, but I will try anyway. I've heard Sascha read a few times and always find it quite compelling, so seeing her words on the page I can see more where she's coming from. It is a rich and complex collection of poems, very musical at times and with a playful syntax, sometimes fluid, sometimes leapy, and other times jarring if necessary. There are all sorts of known phrases all through the collection, many many phrases and sayings, embedded in and sprouting out of the poems, sometimes like lighthouses and sometimes like crevices, many of which I've heard before, common sayings and even commercial ones swirling around us, sayings we often say automatically without inspecting them, and it is interesting to hear them within poems and see what she is doing with them. I can't say I do know, I find it hard to analyse such things, but it is interesting. And then the vocabulary is quite rich too, many words I'd not heard, it was a good book for my dictionary and that was fun. Also the book is designed well and the poem order well thought out and within each poem great care has been taken on the layout to make sure each line is where it should be, cut as it should be, etc. Finally, there is a great deal of history and tale-telling (and un-telling) and sociological and psychological observation within the collection but this is not to say the poems are distant or impersonal or dry because that is the last thing they are, each poem feels intimately connected to the author and that is a very good thing these days when it seems too many poets focus on what only interests them rather than what they are utterly rivetted by and connected to beyond mere intellectual interest.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Alright...
I've read it, and can only praise it! I'm astounded! It's brilliant! There is a light, a warmth, and a distance between the words... room to breath, to live, to die, a vibrancy and an energy that is almost organic in its form.

Sascha Aurora Akhtar's Grimoire of Grimalkin, is a poetic journey that could lead the reader anywhere. This is entirely dependent on how much the reader is prepared give of him/herself because the Grimoire does place demands... such as an openness and a strong desire to follow the feelings, the threads and thought trains of the writer. The Grimoire almost forces the reader through the entire spectrum of emotion... humour, irony, anger, sadness, loneliness etc. etc. This means that the passive reader has no chance, he may as well use the book to light the fire with, and that would be a damned shame.

The Grimoire of Grimalkin is an amazing feast of impression from many quarters... visual, lingual, psychological and physical, magical, musical, mystical and mythological to name but a few. The literary references, the structure and language give a certain intellectual tone as well... I think. But then there's also something bawdy, something sexy and something very mischievous about it all!

This work is also uncommonly inspirational and motivating. As a writer myself, I only need to read a couple of verses and am being swept away with associations, themes, ideas and images of my own. A beautiful work of art here... very living and vital in its form... moving and intriguing. I can't help sensing something Joycean, Dickenish or even jabberwockyish here, but on reflection I think one can find many other literal influences and associations as well.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
The Grimoire's Poetic Seduction 17 Dec. 2007
By Graeme Perrin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Alright...
I've read it, and can only praise it! I'm astounded! It's brilliant! There is a light, a warmth, and a distance between the words... room to breath, to live, to die, a vibrancy and an energy that is almost organic in its form.

Sascha Auroa Akhtar's Grimoire of Grimalkin, is a poetic journey that could lead the reader anywhere. This is entirely dependent on how much the reader is prepared to give of him/herself because the Grimoire does place demands... such as an openness and a strong desire to follow the feelings, the threads and thought trains of the writer. The Grimoire almost forces the reader through the entire spectrum of emotion... humor, irony, anger, sadness, loneliness etc. etc. This means that the passive reader has no chance, he may as well use the book to light the fire with, and that would be a damned shame.

The Grimoire of Grimalkin is an amazing feast of impression from many quarters... visual, lingual, psychological and physical, magical, musical, mystical and mythological to name but a few. The literary references, the structure and language give a certain intellectual tone as well... I think. But then there's also something bawdy, something sexy and something very mischievous about it all!

This work is also uncommonly inspirational and motivating. As a writer myself, I only need to read a couple of verses and am being swept away with associations, themes, ideas and images of my own. A beautiful work of art here... very living and vital... moving and intriguing. I can't help sensing something Joycean, Dickenish or even jabberwockyish here, but on reflection I think one can find many other literal influences and associations as well. This verse covers a lot of ground inside a world that I love to be in, be surprised in and yet feel at home in... if that makes sense.

Yes, I fell in love with this, Grimoire of Grimalkin and that's that. I can only invite you to take the chance, and if you're lucky... it may seduce you as well!
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