Widely regarded as one of the major scholar-poets of his generation, Finkelstein has crafted a singular poetics, sensitive to the overlapping traditions of Jewish mysticism, radical poetics and post-modern thought. Taken together, these sources resonate within Finkelstein’s body of work as a profound record of human yearning.
Both a prequel and a sequel to the earlier FROM THE FILES OF THE IMMANENT FOUNDATION (Dos Madres Press, 2018) and IN A BROKEN STAR (Dos Madres Press, 2021), this new volume of poems is Finkelstein at his most uncanny. A dark, fragmented narrative weirdly illuminated by sudden bursts of lyricism, FURTHER ADVENTURES is a philosophical quest-romance that draws equally from the tradition of visionary poetry and from modern pop culture. At its heart is Pascal Wanderlust, first introduced in BROKEN STAR, who, as Mark Scroggins puts it “traverses waste lands recalling those of Eliot, Browning, and Lovecraft, swims and flies through libraries of Alexandria and Babel, and receives tantalizing hints of destinations in colloquies with specters from beneath the sea, from eldritch dimensions and ‘faery lands forlorn.’” A reluctant knight-errant who would rather “sit quietly in a room alone,” the young Pascal is charged with the task of restoring the mysterious Immanent Foundation, where “The horns of Elfland and the summons / of the shofar echo throughout the grounds. / Myth calls to counter-myth, song suggests / song, fallen forms rise again…”
“Follow the ley lines, follow the stars, go down among the lost and the broken. Via psalms, prophecies, chants, invocations, and the whole library of Alexandria, dream by dream, via Love, Art, Mathematics and Magic, verse by verse, stork by crow, electron by anecdote, Le Bateleur of FURTHER ADVENTURES conjures a cosmos, through which Pascal Wanderlust, haunted, double-souled Holy Schlemiel of Tarot and Torah, roves, hopefully, sorrowfully, awkwardly, trippingly, in search of the way home, because, like the secret language hidden in every word we speak, though we are lost in this fiasco we call the world, and in the apocalypse we call the heart, paradise is still spread out over the earth, and the gnostic rover’s desire to be elsewhere, if truth be told, is the desire to be truly here, yes, here, where the Zohar unfolds in petals of splendor, and a female form, banded black and gold, hovers on four translucent wings. Her swarm surrounds her, humming hosannas. Onward, then, into the book.”—Billie Chernicoff
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Norman Finkelstein is the author of eleven books of poetry and six books of literary criticism, and has written extensively about modern poetry and Jewish literature. Born in New York City, he received his BA from Binghamton University and his PhD from Emory University. He is Emeritus Professor of English at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he has lived since 1980. His most recent works include IN A BROKEN STAR (Dos Madres Press, 2021), FROM THE FILES OF THE IMMANENT FOUNDATION (Dos Madres Press, 2018), THE RATIO OF REASON TO MAGIC (Dos Madres Press, 2016), TRACK (Shearsman Books, 2012) and INSIDE THE GHOST FACTORY (March Hawk Press, 2010). His most recent book of criticism is To Go Into the Words (2023), a volume of selected essays, which appears in the Poets on Poetry series from the University of Michigan Press. He writes and edits the poetry review blog Restless Messengers.