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Catie Rosemurgy Recommends...

Writers Recommend

Posted 2.24.10

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"When I first moved to Philadelphia, a friend of mine was very excited to show me Marcel Duchamp's assemblage Étant donnés: 1° la chute d'eau, 2° le gaz d'éclairage... in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I won't describe it here—if you haven't seen it, reading about it would lessen your first encounter. I have to go back a long time, though, to remember another work that so completely upended my sense of what one piece could do. What exactly is so terrifying about it? Is it also funny somehow, how we peep, how we admire the little twinkling waterfall in the background? Ever since, I've been wondering, how might a written work implicate a reader as Duchamp does the viewer? I don't know if one can go around museums and galleries looking to have one's notions shattered, but in the meantime, perhaps I can think of the page as a space for an elaborate, unsettling installation."
—Catie Rosemurgy
, author of The Stranger Manual (Graywolf Press, 2010)

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