Eunoia: The Set
Winner of the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize
Over five years in the making, poet, 'pataphysican, performer and artist Christian Bök's much-anticipated second book Eunoia is about to change your perception of your own language forever.
The word 'eunoia', which literally means 'beautiful thinking', is the shortest word in English that contains all five vowels. Directly inspired by the Oulipo (l'Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle), a French writers' group interested in experimenting with different forms of literary constraint, Eunoia is a five-chapter book in which each chapter is a univocal lipogram (the first chapter has A as its only vowel, the second chapter only E, etc.). Each vowel takes on a distinct personality - the I is egotistical and romantic, the O jocular and obscene, the E elegaic and epic (Bök actually retells the entire Iliad in Chapter E; you have to read it to believe it). Stunning in its implications and masterful in its execution, Eunoia is one of the most unusual and important books of any year.
Now the book and the CD are available in one package so you can hear Eunoia as it was meant to be read - by the author himself! Listen as he wraps his mouth around page after page of the most convoluted tongue twister you've ever heard! You can even follow along in your copy of Eunoia as he trips the vowels fantastic!
Recorded in the studio by Torpor Vigilante and Coach House author Steve Venright, this CD features Bök reading Eunoia in its entirety - in his uniquely energetic, well enunciated dadaist style. This CD is a must for anyone interested in the way Eunoia tangos with the English language.
'Eunoia is a novel that will drive everybody sane.' – Samuel Delany
'Eunoia takes the lipogram and renders it obsolete.' – Kenneth Goldsmith
'A marvellous, musical texture of rhymes and echoes.' – Harry Mathews
’An exemplary monument for 21st century poetry.' – Charles Bernstein