Summer/Fall 1997 • Vol. XIX No. 3/4 Book ReviewsJuly 1, 1997 |

Hieroglyphs of Erasure

Adventures in Ancient Egypt by Albert Goldbarth. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1996. 109 pages. $20.00, cloth.   Erasure derives from the Latin verb eradere, to scrape, scratch out: to raze. But what might the critical trope of my title have to do with one of contemporary poetry's most enthusiastic writers, a writer who is a virtual assembly line of poetic exhibitions, whose work verifies the mass (and mass-appeal) quantities of popular-cultural production? Throughout his career Albert Goldbarth has been a prodigious maker of comedics and thick tracts alike. His strategy is to amass information, from the most mundane and eccentric to the most astute. His motive seems anything but erasure. Yet in his new book of poems, Adventures in Ancient Egypt, Goldbarth has been able to confront the poet's demon knowledge: that the poem is ultimately an unwriting of its own desires. Language erases the world it seeks to represent. The circumstance which occasions Goldbarth's

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David Baker is the author or editor of many books of poetry and criticism. His latest collection of poems, Whale Fall, was published by W. W. Norton in July 2022. Baker taught at Kenyon 1983–84 and began a long association with The Kenyon Review then, including service for more than twenty-five years as poetry editor. He continues to curate the magazine’s annual environmental feature, “Nature’s Nature.” Baker is emeritus professor of English at Denison University, in Granville, Ohio, where he offers two classes each spring semester.

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Adventures in Ancient Egypt by Albert Goldbarth. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1996. 109 pages. $20.00, cloth.   Erasure derives from the Latin verb eradere, to scrape, scratch out: to […]

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By David Baker

Adventures in Ancient Egypt by Albert Goldbarth. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1996. 109 pages. $20.00, cloth.   Erasure derives from the Latin verb eradere, to scrape, scratch out: to […]

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