The Journal of Albion Moonlight (Paperback)
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An unforgettable, apocalyptic novel from a distinctly American prophet
Inspired by one of the finest lyrics in the English language, the anonymous, pre-Shakespearean “Tom o’Bedlam” (“By a knight of ghosts and shadows / I summoned am to tourney / Ten leagues beyond the wide world’s end / Methinks it is no journey…”), Kenneth Patchen sets off on an allegorical journey to the furthest limits of love and murder, madness and sex. While on this disordered pilgrimage to H. Roivas (Heavenly Savior), various characters offer deranged responses, conveying an otherworldly, imaginative madness. A chronicle of violent fury and compassion, written when Surrealism was still vigorous and doing battle with psychotic “reality,” The Journal of Albion Moonlight is an American monument to engagement.
About the Author
Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972) was one of the most prolific American poets of his time. He was born in Niles, Ohio. He attended school at the University of Madison-Wisconsin where he met his wife, Miriam Oikemus. They moved to Greenwich Village and befriended many writers including E.E. Cummings, Anais Nin, and Henry Miller. An accident occurred after his first publication that would eventually leave him an invalid. He and his wife later moved to San Francisco during the early years of the Beat Movement. Many Beat poets would cite Patchen as a major influence. His "experimental protests" in poetry, painting, and prose remain unprecedented. Aside from his many books of poetry, his acclaimed novels, and his concrete visual works, Kenneth Patchen also collaborated with John Cage for the radio-play The City Wears a Slouch Hat, and worked with Charles Mingus developing jazz poetry. Patchen was an unwavering pacifist and many of his works have a political bent. Patchen was the first recipient of an NEA Literary Grant in 1967.
More than seventy years on from its first publication, The Journal of Albion Moonlight remains as revolutionary and as pertinent as ever.
— Ian Seed - PN Review
This novel is quite possibly the book that made the biggest impression on me, ever.
— Michael Berger - The Rumpus
The Journal of Albion Moonlight is a work of unmistakable genius; in all of English literature it stands alone. Albion Moonlight is the most naked figure of a man I have encountered in all literature.
— Henry Miller