How do we discover our deepest desires, those that at once elude and define us? And is it in the discovery--indeed, the realization--of such desires that we finally encounter our essential selves?Erotikon, Susan Mitchell's astounding new collection, invites us to examine, in shattering detail, the anatomy of pleasure. Sexual appetite--voracious and violent, delicate and lingering--is the pathway to discovery, not just of the self, but of the vast world to which we are connected. Mitchell wants to be shattered, smashed, broken by passion, not for the sake of annihilation, but rather its opposite: Only in so breaking do we allow for the possibility of true communion--with other people, with sensual experience, with the world's redeeming spirit. In Erotikon Mitchell imagines an existence devoid of barriers: "Sometimes I think this, our life on earth, is an egg to break out of. I am claustrophobic. " It is when we are least recognizably ourselves--moved beyond such familiars as gender, names, our human bodies--that we are most alive: primal and burgeoning, poised for an engagement so complete it has the power to transform.In this collection Mitchell is at her most assured and dazzling: Her lyrics balance the intimate candor for which her work is known with both erudite authority and mischief. Drawing the reader like a lover as though through the natural rhythms of lovemaking--from seduction to surrender to symbiosis--Erotikon is a paean to the communion we long for, and sometimes experience, in our lives on earth.
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