Release Date: August 15, 2016
#RECURRENT / Civil Coping Mechanisms
- Review by Meghan Lamb at Heavy Feather Review
- Review by Eugene Lim
- Book Notes at Largehearted Boy
- Review by Jessica Sequeira at Berfrois
- Review by Dirk van Nouhuys at Thoth Books
- Review by Jordan Blum at Bookends Review
- Interview by Joanna Valente at CCM’s #CopingWith Series
- Review by Gretchelle Quiambao at Angel City Review
- Audio of Harold Abramowitz reading from Blind Spot at Skylight Books
- Excerpt at The Collagist
- Excerpt at Anomalous Press
Here, memory like a dripping faucet, slowly leaking events and considerations, one constantly feels like they are balancing on a teetering chair. This rigorous investigation of being leads one to consider the way a world revolves around a man like a vortex, the propensity of clipped phrases that alter, edit, build, revise, a constant modification of the one way one sees the world, exists in the world, remembers. Repetition, like stuttering, leads one through and around the vortex of consideration, yet like poetry the language points and articulates, then stutters again, the text as a glitchy archetype of keeping track, of observation, of the harmonious discontinuity of time’s ebb and flow: “There is no break in the harmony, and no seeing anything but for what it is.”
This brilliant, poetic novel weaves a new structure for narrative, forces the reader to consider the complex and profound structures hidden in a record of time, each observation of the utterly quotidian transforming into a lyrical evocation of essential significance. Each repetition is a surprise, and each consideration an impossible enigma. Narrated by a mysterious and clairvoyant consciousness, Blind Spot, is both blind and honest, isolated and compulsive, and achieves with such magnificent beauty a reconceptualization of seeing and reading that one might enter this book through its first lines and wish to never come out again.
This is a gorgeous slippery novel in the mode of Georges Perec or Magdalena Tulli or Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi or . . . Harold Abramowitz! I read it with a tumbling sort of pleasure by a small body of water as a hummingbird with a purple throat came and went. It, the bird, seemed, in its hovering, to be trying to read Blind Spot over my shoulder. Is that why it kept coming back? One impossibly exquisite thing seeking another?
It’s one thing to write a novel about trauma – to tell a coherent story, to create (and be comforted by, to whatever extent) a narrative arc of pain and loss. But it’s something else entirely to find oneself inside a series of imagistic and syntactical loops – a Venn diagram of partial thoughts (or dreams or memories) that become more certain and more troubling each time they refuse to relate or resolve. Harold Abramowitz’s Blind Spot is not about anything – about, from the Old English, ‘outside of.’ Instead, it’s a kind of prayer made out of attention (Simone Weil). Incantatory and somatechnic. I fucking love this book. Abramowitz writes the mind and body (in trauma, in everyday life) from the knotted and careful inside.
Like a careful clinician, a mathematician of the soul, Abramowitz takes us on a voyage of cautious deliberation. How does he do it? How is it that he creates such deep suspense and eager, almost anxious, anticipation through such minute & slightly various ministrations of lexicon? Alongside him we become careful detectives of our narrators’ confusions & disappointments even as we try to discover, again alongside him, just where it is that the center of those confusions lie …. It is a strange, unsettling, and beautiful book.
Harold Abramowitz’s book reveals the way power structures entrench and entangle themselves into the smallest details of our days, gestures, and self-concept — yet each sentence feels like it undoes a lie. It is a bare, exhilarating, and liberating read.
HAROLD ABRAMOWITZ is from Los Angeles. He is author and co-author of books of poetry and prose, including Dear Dearly Departed, Not Blessed, and UNFO Burns A Million Dollars. Harold writes and edits as part of the collaborative projects eohippus labs, SAM OR SAMANTHA YAMS and UNFO.