Here’s a few of Quale’s recent titles. For more, go to http://www.quale.com where you can find an entire listing and can order any one of them.
Gastrology or Life of Pleasure or Study of the Belly or Inquiry Into Dinner
Gastrology or Life of Pleasure or Study of the Belly or Inquiry Into Dinner is one of the Western world’s first cookbooks, if one could find pig-fish (“Braise its head but add no seasoning”) or Toronaian saw-tooth shark (“Sprinkle with cumin and roast with a pinch of salt”). It’s also a travelogue of ancient Greek port-towns, and a guide to the prejudices of the day (“Don’t let any Siracusan, or Italian for that matter, get near when you’re cooking”). Most of all, this book is a testament to the ways in which, since the beginnings of Western civilization, people have been taking serious and sensual pleasure in the food they eat. In this volume, Gian Lombardo has culled together previous translations of Archestratos’s work to provide a version that best captures the author’s simultaneously dogmatically authoritative and irreverent tome.
In Third Body, Michel Delville continues in the tradition of Belgian prose poetry exemplified by such prose poets as Henri Michaux, Géo Norge, and Eugene Savitzkaya. These writers honorably and admirably extend the francophone tradition of the prose poem as started in nineteenth century France by Aloysius Bertrand and Charles Baudelaire. Like these forbears and contemporaries, Delville utilizes the prose poem as a way to access profound poetic sentiments and provide trenchant social commentary through prosaic means—“To convert our ideas into material things.” This conversion requires an understanding not simply of the material conditions Delville wishes to elucidate but also the ways in which political shifts play out on an intimate human scale, and vice versa. Throughout Third Body, Delville’s lush, fervent prose poems masterfully articulate his philosophical concerns, while demonstrating a profound pleasure in using this literary form to express them. He is our interpreter, our navigator, our scribe across the terrain he sets out, and we need him here to guide us. We need literature like Delville’s to help us make sense of human events because, on its own, “The eye doesn’t see beyond sky.”
When is a door a door that is not a door? When is a door a door that is a door that is not a door? From a distance, Bob Heman’s prose poems in Demographics, or, The Hats They Are Allowed to Wear appear to be neat containers for singular thoughts, descriptions of objects or ideas. Strung together, these containers form a narrative, an allegory, perhaps, of men and forest and animals and ocean and stones, of the beginning or the end of time. In “Containers,” Heman writes, “The container contains what it contains.” This is more than a simple tautology — it is a clue, an urging, for the reader to take a closer look. Within Heman’s taut containers, surfaces start out straightforward, then refract; the natural order of perception subtly shifts. “The cars are placed where the roads are drawn,” “There were wings there waiting for a new animal to hold them down” — these are fervent synecdoches, where the replacement of part for whole disrupts established hierarchies. The guides supersede that which they’re guiding.