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The Education of Desire is quite simply William Dickey's finest book. Completed shortly before his death from AIDS- related illness in 1994, the book is a courageous confrontation with death and the particular questions it raises at the end of the 20th century -how we define humanity and our own humanness. It is equally about the various ways in which desire, social or private, is grown in us.
The book displays Dickey's extraordinary range from experimental monologues to blues chants. It embraces a lively array of symbolic figures, drawing as readily from Judeo-Christian theology, the "natural" world, and classical myths as from postmodern technologies and popular culture. Readers encounter Little Red Riding Hood, Ken and Barbie, David and Saul, a bungee cord salesman, God, the holy grail, the Virgin Mary, the Titanic, Tiresias, an avid member of the National Rifle Association, and many others. As W. D. Snodgrass says in his foreword, the poems are filled with a "wild prankiness, a giddy whirl of idea and vision, . . . [yet] love is the central theme of all the poems in this book and of all their problems of boundaries, of memory, of suffering."
0819522368 (9780819522368)
Publication Date: 
September 20, 1996