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Nest of Ninnies, A (American Literature (Dalkey Archive)) (American Literature Series) Hardcover – 1 Jan 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; 1st Dalkey Ed edition (1 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564785203
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564785206
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 997,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about A Nest of Ninnies is that the two poets have dissolved their own personalities and merged so entirely into a common style that it can be said that the book's author is neither Ashbery nor Schuyler but a third entity fashioned in the process of collaboration." -- David Lehman

About the Author

John Ashbery is recognized as one of the greatest twentieth-century American poets. He has won nearly every major American award for poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Yale Younger Poets Prize, the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Griffin International Award, and a MacArthur "Genius" Grant. James Marcus Schuyler (November 9, 1923 -- April 12, 1991) was an American poet whose awards include the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 1980 collection The Morning of the Poem.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
a good romp 26 May 2000
By "javits2000" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Who would think that two experimental poets could write a comic novel without stylistic pretensions? There's nothing profound here, just a quick read with plenty of laughs. The title conveys the substance fairly well: Schuyler and Ashbery have created a cast of middle- to upper-class fools for whom they have little respect. This could, of course, be fairly tiresome ("aren't the bourgeosie so silly!"), if it weren't for the authors' keen sense of humor. Think of this as a detailed pitch for a good Woody Allen movie, or a Firbank novel for the mid-twentieth century.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Auden was right 17 April 2007
By dpk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book deserves to be recognized as the "minor classic" W. H. Auden thought it was destined to become. The high camp of much of the proceedings only makes the book more profound in its investigation of the contemporary manners of negotiating affect through objects. In this it looks back to Wilde and Henry James, as it does also in its arch staging of the objectification of a mystified "Europe." Entirely fascinating, urbanely hilarious.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Uncle Albert Says: abandon yourself to the pleasures of farce 26 Jun 2010
By John Michael Albert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you love farce from Faydeau through Wodehouse through Joe Keenan (Blue Heaven, Putting on the Ritz, and the first few years of Frasier) you'll love this book. If you don't, please don't read it. I picked it up because it's by two of the '50s era New York School poets, Ashbery and Schuyler. I happen to enjoy that school of poetry, even more than I love their contemporary West Coast poets like Ginsberg, Corso, and company (and I love those too). This is the sort of delightful ego exercise on the part of the author(s) where you turn the key and let the author do the driving--at any speed he wishes. In the end, none of the characters are important, no great moral lessons are learned, what happens and where it happens are more decorative than narrative or metaphorical. You have drinks with a friend and during the course of the evening, the friend tells you this long involved story that is fascinating because he's your friend. And when the evening ends and you both go your separate ways, it was a great evening for no reason more complicated than you spent it with a great friend, who can tell some whopping good stories. Dump all that earnest book-reading you picked up in school and church and let yourself go; read this book and others like it (see Faydeau, Wodehouse, Keenan and company) as one of the top five pleasures of life. You've already abandoned yourself to numbers one and two and survived, right?
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Honey I wrote a novel 26 Dec 2008
By Sarang Gopalakrishnan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This novel doesn't exactly break the sound barrier -- Auden went a little overboard in calling it a minor classic -- but is "likable enough," like Hillary Clinton, and has the unpredictability of the game it started as. Ashbery and Schuyler wrote it one sentence at a time: A. started with "Alice was tired," and it blossomed, to the extent that it did, from there. The first third is fairly choppy as a result; however, as the novel progresses it settles into its narrative arc, and the closing scenes are excellent conventional farce. (A plot summary would be inappropriate: one of the pleasures of this book is figuring out where it's trying to go.) The writing is spirited and sporadically brilliant -- both authors won Pulitzers in poetry -- but not very interesting as prose. On the whole, this book is recommended for Ashbery or Schuyler fans, connoisseurs of camp, and those with an interest in how novels are constructed. Others might find it self-indulgent.
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