A Cruel Nirvana both is and is not a new Jerome Rothenberg collection. In other words, almost everything in this collection has been published before. Each of the three major sections (Narratives and Real Theater Pieces, The Notebooks, and Conversations) was originally published individually. A Cruel Nirvana brings together these long out-of-print smaller gatherings in a way that illuminates their important place in Rothenberg’s crucial contribution to Twentieth- and Twenty-first Century poetics. Returning to these poems, properly contextualized, one finds them communicating in one field of immanence.
If we feel exhausted by meaningless violence and marketing, A Cruel Nirvana shows us wellsprings of meaning and power we missed or just couldn’t see in our exhaustion or disaffection.
Via Lambert Savigneux, Florence Trocmé