Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run

John Ashbery

John Ashbery’s wild, deliriously artistic book-length poem, encouraged by way of the adventures of Henry Darger’s Vivian GirlsHenry Darger, the prolific American outsider artist who died in 1973, forsaking over twenty thousand pages of manuscripts and hundreds and hundreds of artistic endeavors, is legendary for the flowery trade universe he either developed and inhabited, a “realm of the unreal” the place a plucky band of younger ladies, the Vivians, is helping lead an epic uprising opposed to darkish forces of chaos. Darger’s paintings is now popular for its terrific appropriation of cultural ephemera, its dense and otherworldly prose, and its totally specific high-low juxtaposition of pop culture and the divine—some of the exact same features that many years of critics and readers have replied to in John Ashbery’s many groundbreaking works of poetry.

In ladies at the Run, Ashbery’s unrivaled poetic inventiveness travels to new territory, encouraged via the characters and cataclysms of Darger’s imagined universe. ladies at the Run is a disquieting, wonderful, and sometimes hilarious mash-up that unearths radical American artists engaged in an not likely dialog, a discussion of reinvention and weird good looks.

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