Compendium + Correspondence
2 books by
Kristina Marie Darling
*Ships on June 1, 2013
Shipping: Free (USA only) / $3 (Canada) / $10 (Everywhere else)
Dimensions: 5.8" wide x 8.3" tall
Binding: Perfect bound Paperback
First Edition ©2013
Printed in the USA
Compendium: "Catching Knowledge" by Stephanie Bracciano
Correspondence: "Dispatch." Image provided courtesy of The Dreaming Hour
cover design byJeremy Spencer
Kristina Marie Darling's Correspondence is a miniaturist's miniature, a seeming erasure leaving behind only subplots and footnotes and glossaries, secondary definitions nested beneath more primary meanings, salutations but not letters: Because perhaps where there is loss it is what remains after the story is told that is most beautiful, or else what proceeds it; not how we were together, but how we say hello, how we say goodbye.
In Kristina Marie Darling’s Correspondence, the page is the white box in which keepsakes disappear; the book, the white hallway that extends—endless—between lover and beloved. It is to this very distance that Darling attributes the letter; language appears in the gap it can’t close. For the correspondents, the line is always under erasure, its music muted: a white ribbon falling from an envelope torn open. At the moment of leave-taking, a woman finds herself holding weightless flowers. This book empties its objects, but the result is not emptiness. Rather, something arises in the space Darling curates: the form of our longing, the shape we glimpse suddenly between things that don’t touch.
—Joanna Ruocco, Author of A Compendium of Domestic Incidents
Correspondence, by Kristina Marie Darling, is full the white spaces and erasures of the past. The generous amount of white space around, above and below each poem becomes more than emptiness – it is forgotten or blanked out potential, it is a torrent of words and adventures barely suppressed. Her poems, as if lodged in the grooves of an elderly Victrola, spin again and again to the same phrases and the same images, sometimes partial, sometimes partially crossed out. Darling plays with our ideas about the past, how we make it pretty, precious and romantic, and fragments those ideas until they become sharp and somewhat dangerous. Her poems are footnotes to an imaginary novel. They are tiny museums, up-ended and turned inside out.
—Christine Hamm, author of Echo Park and Saints & Cannibals
Kristina Marie Darling’s Correspondence toys with our narrative hunger, offering footnote, fragment, and caption in place of dramatic episode. Our heroine is eager to stave off union with her beloved, and instead stokes her ardor through indulgence in memento and spectacle. What emerges is the sense that our readerly desires map onto the heroine’s romantic ones—sometimes aligning, sometimes diverging, but always in tension. “What corresponds to what?” we ask ourselves, and the threads we pull as readers weave themselves into the text this way, too. What’s brilliant about Correspondence is the way its spareness suggests something like ornate white space—we see a blank page, but we feel a textured world: velvet, wax, glass, wood, the slant of the light, and a tangled longing.
—Becca Klaver, author of L.A. Liminal
Kristina Marie Darling’s Correspondence lingers in the broken circuit between speech and silence, evoking “almost inaudible” correspondences that simmer “beneath a residue of dust and string.” Darling urges the blank space of the page into language as she tells a love story from love’s remnants. A brilliant weave of subplots emerges, a chorus of vital fragments and crystalline talk. This is a book of hauntings—a lost film still, a mysterious glass compartment, misplaced cufflinks, a buried necklace, an unworn wedding dress, “the light catching / a fire in every eyelash.”
—Tony Trigilio, author of Historic Diary
Kristina Marie Darling's Compendium is an omen, an invitation to peek inside an antique locket and be overtaken by the simultaneously strange and gorgeous language that inhabits the stillness of white space and the darkest corners of imaginary rooms. The poems themselves are a graceful 'array of miniatures,' a means to explore the tension between music and silence, and Darling is a master composer.
—Susan Slaviero, Author of Cyborgia
Darling’s Compendium is the remnant of a ghost story, a book which unravels the tattered ends of our literature and collages them into its own sort of opus. Filled with the buoys of the lives of others that materialize and vanish beneath the sea of white—“the piano’s most delicate song,” “a dusty wooden stage,” “every violent burned to the ground,” they are quiet, dangerous poems, poems where restriction itself becomes the obsession. So, prepare yourself for obsession— this is the kind of book that merits it.
—Kyle McCord, Author of Galley of the Beloved in Torment
"It was only then I wished to preserve my collection, its infinite variety. In each of the charms, a constellation. In every necklace a cluster of nervous stars." Kristina Marie Darling’s Compendium is a collection of just this sort—lyrical prose poems, erasures, glossaries, histories, and footnotes as “nervous stars” that illustrate a singular recursive obsession and its tangential orbits. Part catalog, part jewelry box, Darling’s work is informed and self-aware with a lilting loveliness. Compendium challenges us to ask whether we are whole enough to “appreciate the infinite variety of the lockets” on display here in this talented writer’s work.
—Brandi Homan, Author of Bobcat Country
ow often does one open a book of poems, commence reading, and then wish that the book had no poems in it at all? Compendium solves this problem by providing footnotes for texts that are invisible, mislaid, erased, or for some other reason not included in the volume. Thank you, Kristina Darling, for protecting the reader’s interest—and advancing the art.
—Aaron Belz, Author of Lovely, Raspberry
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