The implicit heart of Gavronsky’s imaginary meditation lies in the daunting similarity of the dialogues on the two fronts of the war between terror and authority.
Harold Bloom, from the preface “On Gavronsky”
A Rip-roaring read. Somewhere between Apollinaire, The Cantos, and Reznikoff. Fresh. Fast. Full of pep and Wit. The language is young even though the memories be old.
Carefully incised to appear cut up and even occasionaily chaotic, Serge Gavronsky’s Silence of Memory reassembles the disastrous treatment history delivers to memory. “Let me tell you a story if I can remember it correctly.” Gavronsky’s honest, concentric reminiscences, however, don’t provide the usual reassurance that our world is ultimately supportive. Rather, the reality principle that he invokes from many perspectives invites the reader, during the reading and as long as she remembers correctly, to stay on her toes or else. On the other hand, Gavronsky’s wonderful vocabulary and syntactic acrobatics provide more than a little comfort about human potential. His ability to treat displacement not as human frailty but as a coping mechanism show how inside and outside, near and far, link indissolubly toward helping to understand his dour vision.
Serge Gavronsky is Professor of French at Barnard College, Columbia University. He is the author of numerous creative and critical works and is a well-known translator of contemporary French poetry.