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by James Chapman
$15.00    248pp.   ISBN 978-1-879193-18-5



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"What Chapman gets most in this book is this voice, this trancelike voice that moves in a way both tragic and full of awe, almost ancient if it weren't removed from time altogether. It's a voice both enlightened and ignorant, in an argument that this sort of ignorance is the key to enlightenment. The voice has always been the greatest strength of Chapman's, different in every book though always fully immersed in their directions. His mastery of voice is matched only by his ability to perceive and understand."
--Forrest Armstrong

"Like a Bible for a life's work in repetition moves, really powerful."
--Blake Butler, HTML Giant

"James Chapman is disenchanted with the storyteller. In his Degenerescence, Chapman undermines the storyteller, he takes the story and breaks it over his knee; he then cares for it, nurtures it, and strips it of what it's worth, leaving only the raw event, the "it" of the story, and tosses everything else aside. Chapman captures the ostinato of the ancient mind pattern, conjuring the habits of the pre-Sophoclean man. In essence, James Chapman has written an epic."
--Carah A. Naseem, Gently Read Literature

A novel made of incantation and hymn, in outright preference to storytelling, Degenerescence is about the creation and destruction of the world--both creation and destruction being caused by language, the human urge to name things and make stories.

In the novel, a goddess named WOE creates a world and bears seven daughters, then witnesses the death of all her creation.

An homage to ancient Near East writings of 4000 years ago, Degenerescence shares with Sumerian literature a drumming repetition and a sense of devotional terror that inhabits every human's relationship with the natural world.

Written at a time when its author's own relationship to the literary arts is in question, the more hidden topic here is his private world and what he himself may have destroyed and created.


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