Shame : A Collaboration
  • Author: Kelly, Robert & Birgit Kempker
  • Binding: Deluxe Signed
  • Pages: 240
  • Size: 4-3/4 x 7-1/4"
  • Pub. Year: 2005
  • ISBN: 0-929710-77-1
  • In Stock: Yes
Price: $35.00

McPherson & Company takes special pleasure in announcing a limited edition of 400 signed and numbered copies of a collaboration between Robert Kelly and Birgit Kempker. This unique edition is presented by special arrangement with Urs Engeler Editor of Basel, Switzerland. Publication: December 2005. Shame is a bi-lingual text in prose and poetry that defies categorization. It is a psychological exposé, a purloined correspondence, an investigatory improvisation, an apologia, a desideratum, a profundity, and jazz.

Moreover, it is an experiment in cross translation.

Above all, Shame is a collaboration. When Birgit Kempker — a younger German writer living in Basel — invited Kelly to create a work together, neither knew the other except by reputation. They proceeded, over the course of two years, to communicate by e-mail through sixteen exchanges, and the subject was shame, shame at its most personal and prosaic and intimate, sometimes even fetching, and at its most generic and couched and poetic and hallucinatory.

The barrier between them was not simply that of not knowing one another while risking the limits of naked trust, but of surmounting age, gender, nationality and language. Birgit Kempker wrote in German, and Robert Kelly in English. Shame is a love story. A story of two tongues.

But Shame is not a story of love lost and love newly found or love claimed and love rebuked. Shame is a book spoken between two lovers who will never be lovers, a book of the unabashed and prised apart secret intimacy that can be laid bare against all constraint by ghostly lovers — virtual, exemplarly, psychic guides to one another...and the rest of us.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION about this book, please read or download our special catalogue: Robert Kelly Collaborations(PDF)(385kb)

"The tone of this project is extraordinary – abashed & shame-faced, guilty & perpetually self-flagellating, a work of extraordinary masochism – and a text as erotic in its own way as any of the novels of Kathy Acker’s."--Ron Silliman

Robert Kelly was born in Brooklyn on September 24, 1935. He attended CUNY and Columbia University, and since 1961 has taught at Bard College. Robert Kelly has authored more than 60 published volumes of fiction, poetry and prose-poems. His 1967 novel The Scorpions first brought him a cult readership...

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