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Thread: Prose authors who show a clear influence from poetry

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    Default Prose authors who show a clear influence from poetry

    As the title says - any recommendations gladly received, either fiction or non-fiction. Recently I've been enjoying Claudia Rankine's 'Citizen: An American Lyric' (apparently described by some as a book-length poem, but I'd describe it as poetic prose), while David Peace and Olivia Laing are other recent favourites. Anyone who's clearly influenced by poetry as much as by prose - or indeed is a poet themselves.

    No suggestion too obvious. To describe my knowledge of the classics as 'patchy' would be unnecessarily kind.

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    William S Burroughs - recently read Naked Lunch and so much of it is about the rhythm of the words.

    Charles Bukowski - started off in poetry, then short stories, then long form novels. And if you read the early novels, like post office, factotum etc, the individual sentences are like lines of his poetry, just organised as prose.

    Bolano - famously an ex-poet, who continued with both forms.

    Iain Sinclair - did a load of poetry through the 70s and 80s, then started on prose.

    there's more I'm sure - I feel like I've read a lot of good stuff recently and then discovered the author started in poetry, and it doesn't surprise me anymore. if they start as poets, i think the prose writing seems to be better

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    I see sinclairs mate b. Catling has been putting out novels too. Not sure if they're any good though.

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    yeah i'm not into catling at all

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    I'm not anti catling

    . There's Anna kavan too. Could try that

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    Is there a great poet who was also a great novelist, or vice versa? I doubt it. Different disciplines.

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    thanks for those recommendations.

    great poet and great novelist...that's a tricky one, and even a google search isn't turning up many top candidates

    Quote Originally Posted by catalog View Post
    Bolano - famously an ex-poet, who continued with both forms.

    there's more I'm sure - I feel like I've read a lot of good stuff recently and then discovered the author started in poetry, and it doesn't surprise me anymore. if they start as poets, i think the prose writing seems to be better
    Bolaņo - of course, should've thought of him. I thought Distant Star had some exceptional passages that were far from typical prose.

    Agreed - I'm far more inclined to persist with prose if there's some rhythm and melody to the writing. I find many novels very hard going where that's not the case
    Last edited by baboon2004; 24-04-2017 at 10:07 PM.

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    I suppose I'm inclined to ask why read story books at all. They're for children, morons and sub humans. Frankly I doubt you're reading enough poetry as it is. Read more poetry and leave the novels for Victorian housewives

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    I'm certainly not a defender of the novel as a form. Too many wasted hours for that. Nowadays, if I don't find the first 20 pages compulsive, I tend to cut my losses. Novellas definitely preferred.

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    You can cut that down to one paragraph if you practice

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    I do tend to judge the first page harshly when scanning in bookshops. Staggering how some people get book deals

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    Kavan is unreadable.

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    Anything that ain't about spaceships is unreadable to you wrong thread mate

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    Laser beams off the fucking shoulder of orion

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    "the boosters engaged and we blasted into hyperspace. Stars whirled like diamonds in a washing machine. Sklr wrinkled her pretty blue nose, alien eyes black as infinite space. "our proton packs are seriously depleted commander. If we don't make planetfall in the next 12 earth hours we're toast"

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