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Additional Book Information

Series: Dorothy
ISBN: 9780984469390
Pages: 128
Publication Date: November 1, 2013

From Dorothy

Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge

by Renee Gladman

Paperback
Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge is the third volume of Renee Gladman's magnificent, melancholy series about the city-state of Ravicka, or about the architectures of its absence. It is tempting to read the Ravickian books as an extended allegory—of architecture itself, perhaps, except that architecture is already half-allegorical, its every element raised to prefigure whatever meanings can make their way to them. If any can. In Ravicka, meanings—indeed most contact of any kind—remain in abeyance, building, in absentia, the constitutive negative spaces of the narrative. There is a plot; it lays out zones of sheer ambience. Experiences, of which there are many, unfold as a redolent lingering in the structures of immateriality, the radical realities of the insubstantial. Gladman is a philosopher of architecture, though not that of buildings. Rather, she thinks (and writes) the drifts, partitions, and immobilities of identity, affect, communication, the very possibility of being human. Profound, compelling—haunting, even—the story of Ravicka is astonishingly ours.” (Lyn Hejinian)

Praise

More Kafka than Kafka, Renee Gladman’s achievement ranks alongside many of Borges’ in its creation of a fantastical landscape with deep psychological impact.
—Jeff VanderMeer

Renee Gladman has always struck me as being a dreamer—she writes that way and the dreaming seems to construct the architecture of the world unfolding before our reading eyes.
—Eileen Myles

Gladman is more fantasist than estranging analyst. The quality of her dreaming, its interior abstraction, is exquisite. Its wonder lies in how closed its shutters are to any mundane world, how far back the lanes and alleyways of its imagining recede from the proper nouns and pedestrianisms of our lives.
n+1

The Ravikian novels exalt the primacy of language to further imaginative possibility, which dominant and oppressive regimes would shut down. Gladman's writing cleaves to the luminous. It slips through the gaps in our thinking to pluralise, queer, subvert, and mobilise. These books are strange but, through a bright and deft poetic obliquity, they shine an incomparable light onto our contemporary moment.
The White Review

The Ravicka books—flagships of the elegant small press Dorothy—are what usually get classified as ‘poet's novels,’ like Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red or My Life by Lyn Hejinian, but in this case, that's a cop-out. Gladman writes and publishes poetry, nonfiction, and novels with the same frequency. I doubt she makes much distinction between disciplines (and in fact she resembles a visual artist in her staunch pursuit of a theme through varied layers of form and abstraction).
BOMB

[The Ravicka] books are absurd and surreal, and are stabilized by an eerie interior logic: Think The Phantom Tollbooth for adults.
The Atlantic

Aesthetically precise and formally daring, Renee Gladman sets us adrift in the country of her imagination, challenging us to puzzle out fluency, space, and meaning along the way.
—Windham-Campbell Prize Committee