Feb 22, 2011

The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to choose two sentences at random from your current read. Identify the author and title for readers.

The Anthologist: A Novel

"What I'm doing when I'm writing poetry is I'm making a little side salad. Just the right amount of sprouts on the top, maybe a chickpea or two. No bacon. Maybe a slice of egg.  It doesn't feel like writing at all."
(ch. 3)

The Anthologist: A Novel by Nicholson Baker is a book I found by happy chance at the bookstore, just at the time I began to make an occasional side salad, bits of poetry. People who write and read poetry on the web are hugely supportive, never nasty, and find good things to say, no matter what you write. I am enjoying this book in small bites.

Goodreads book description: "The Anthologist is narrated by Paul Chowder -- a once-in-a-while-published kind of poet who is writing the introduction to a new anthology of poetry. He's having a hard time getting started because his career is floundering, his girlfriend Roz has recently left him, and he is thinking about the great poets throughout history who have suffered far worse and deserve to feel sorry for themselves. He has also promised to reveal many wonderful secrets and tips and tricks about poetry, and it looks like the introduction will be a little longer than he'd thought.

What unfolds is a wholly entertaining and beguiling love story about poetry: from Tennyson, Swinburne, and Yeats to the moderns (Roethke, Bogan, Merwin) to the staff of The New Yorker, what Paul reveals is astonishing and makes one realize how incredibly important poetry is to our lives. At the same time, Paul barely manages to realize all of this himself, and the result is a tenderly romantic, hilarious, and inspired novel."


  1. Great analogy!

    So poetry is a bit like writing - or reading - flash fiction: just a sweet morsel of chocolate. And afterwards you have to have one more ... and one more .. :D

  2. This one sounds fascinating,and the teaser is awesome...thanks for sharing.


  3. Now I just have to read this one. The Teaser is so unique. I like to learn about other poets and authors as I read a book. I know you're enjoying this one.


  4. That's a very interesting way to describe it. Glad you're enjoying it! Thanks for stopping by :)

  5. Ohhh, a love story about poetry? I really enjoyed the teaser, it completely stood out for me! Probably the best teaser I've read this week.

    Visit my two teasers from vastly different books at e-Volving Books

  6. What no bacon ?!? That's the best part!
    You can find mine at The Bookish Snob

  7. What a fascinating and interesting teaser. I love the salad metaphor.

    I'm so glad I visited your blog this morning because The Anthologist is a book I was really interested in reading when it was first published. I listed it on my tbr list but then sort of forgot about it. Your post has reminded me why I was so interested in Baker's book. Thank you!

    ~ Amy
    Amy's Tuesday teaser

  8. Interesting analogy! I had never thought of poetry like making a salad. Happy reading!

  9. Doesn't sound like poetry either... and now I'm hungry.


  10. Hmm, that's an interesting way to describe it ☺

    You can find mine for this week here: http://www.amomentwithmystee.com/2011/02/teaser-tuesday-19.html#comments

  11. That's quite an intriguing teaser. Here's my Teaser Have a good week and happy reading!

  12. very original teaser--can't say I've ever read one like it. Kaye—the road goes ever ever on

  13. This one sounds pretty cool actually. I've never been one to really get into poetry but I thought this one sounded interesting.


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