Bluets

Bluets

Book - 2009
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"A lyrical, philosophical, and often explicit exploration of personal suffering and the limitations of vision and love, as refracted through the color blue, while folding in, and responding to, the divergent voices and preoccupations of such generative figures as Wittgenstein, Sei Shonagon, William Gass and Joan Mitchell. Bluets further confirms Maggie Nelson's place within the pantheon of brilliant lyric essayists." -- Publisher's description
Publisher: Seattle : Wave Books ; [2009]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9781933517407
1933517409
Branch Call Number: 814.6 N428b 2009
Characteristics: 99 pages ; 21 cm

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This is a small but stunning book, worth reading more than once. This amalgam of poetry, prose and philosophy explores love, loss and the contours of seeing and knowing.


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saintjennifer Sep 27, 2018

157. The part I do remember: that the blue of the sky depends on the darkness of empty space behind it. As one optics journal puts it, "The color of any planetary atmosphere viewed against the black of space and illuminated by a sunlike star will also be blue." In which case blue is something of an ecstatic accident produced by void and fire.”
― Maggie Nelson, Bluets

saintjennifer May 02, 2018

“Like many self-help books, The Deepest Blue is full of horrifyingly simplistic language and some admittedly good advice. Somehow the women in the book learn to say: That’s my depression talking. It’s not “me.”

As if we could scrape the color off the iris and still see.”

saintjennifer May 02, 2018

“I can remember a time when I took Henry James's advice--'try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost!'--deeply to heart. I think I was then imagining that the net effect of becoming one of those people would be one of accretion. Whereas if you truly become someone on whom nothing is lost, then loss will not be lost upon you, either.”

saintjennifer May 02, 2018

“The half-circle of blinding turquoise ocean is this love’s primal scene. That this blue exists makes my life a remarkable one, just to have seen it. To have seen such beautiful things. To find oneself placed in their midst. Choiceless. I returned there yesterday and stood again upon the mountain.”

saintjennifer May 02, 2018

“Mostly I have felt myself becoming a servant of sadness. I am still looking for the beauty in that.”

saintjennifer May 02, 2018

“Fifteen days after we are born, we begin to discriminate between colors. For the rest of our lives, barring blunted or blinded sight, we find ourselves face-to-face with all these phenomena at once, and we call the whole shimmering mess “color.” You might even say that it is the business of the eye to make colored forms out of what is essentially shimmering. This is how we “get around” in the world. Some might also call it the source of our suffering.”

saintjennifer May 02, 2018

"For to wish to forget how much you loved someone-- and then, to actually forget-- can feel, at times, like the slaughter of a beautiful bird who chose, by nothing short of grace, to make a habitat of your heart."
— Maggie Nelson

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chatkanuda
Aug 09, 2012

"For no one really knows what color is, where it is, even whether it is. (Can it die? Does it have a heart?) Think of a honeybee, for instance, flying into the fold of a poppy: it sees a gaping violet mouth, where we see an orange flower and assume that it's orange, that we're normal."

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xiaojunbpl12
Oct 11, 2017

Monochrome, sifting through thousand-year old debris, basking in diffused light of universe to linger on each obscure corner of the earth, sages lined up in the same hue, soothed, subdued, illumined, inspired...no, hypnotic... blue is also my favorite color, and I don't need a therapy.

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chatkanuda
Aug 09, 2012

Nelson's examination of pain and loss in this lyric essay is as penetrating and affecting as it is structurally accomplished. It's a dazzling performance but never pretentious from a very, very interesting contemporary poet and writer.

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