One of Canada's most important long poems continues "¦ The Invisible World Is in Decline is a continuing prose poem. The works as a whole attempts, through the sometimes austere music of the prose poem, to come to terms with some of the most basic human experiences, from sex and language to the central place of light in our lives. Book V continues these obsessions, particularly the relationship between the body and the world and the experience of light; it adds a number of new ones as well. The failed artist is imagined as a consuMMAte forger, expertly capable of mimicry, but wholly a fraud at any genuine work or feeling. A religious impetus, largely unstated until now, begins to be consecrated in this book with a series of short lyric poems concerning the redemptive qualities of love.
The Invisible World Is in Decline stands in the line of the twentieth-century long poem whose writers - from Pound to Zukofsky to Blaser and bp Nichol - have been strong influences. The prose poem form links the work to the earliest roots of modernism in the poetry of writers like Bertrand, Rimbaud, and Baudelaire, but also situates it at the cutting edge of poetic technique.
Bruce Whiteman, author of The Invisible World Is in Decline, is a Canadian poet and writer living in Los Angeles. He has degrees from Trent University and the University of Toronto, and has worked as a rare book librarian at both McMaster and McGill. He is currently the Head Librarian of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at UCLA. He lives in Santa Monica with his wife and two children. Whiteman has published extensively as a poet, scholar, cultural historian and book reviewer. Recent books include Visible Stars: New and Selected Poems, as well as books on the painter J.E.H. MacDonald and on the history of publishing in Quebec.
Published: October 2000
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.