Alexander Nemser is the author a new book of prose poems called “The Sacrifice of Abraham,” a sequence of fifty re-tellings of the story of Abraham and Isaac, each one wilder and more expansive, and growing to include Greek gods, love affairs, and redemption of garbage. “The Sacrifice of Abraham” is forthcoming in summer 2014 from Bookieman, an independent publishing platform founded by artist Nino Biniashvili.
“The Sacrifice of Abraham” reads like a lost Dead Sea Scroll, finally unearthed from the internet of the future. It brandishes genres—bible story, biblical exegesis—only to show them explode. The formal affiliations of the book are so various and thoroughly dissolved in gorgeous prose that they hardly register as such. Repeated reads suggest ancestors as disparate as Robert Lowell and Bruno Schulz; the book of Genesis and Ghostface Killah. On a macro-level the book exhibits a Whitmanian spirit. Holiness is a concept traditionally defined by separateness; to be holy is to be among a small elect. As the book despairs about the costs of a border between holy and unholy, it doesn’t necessarily knock the divide itself. Instead, the Sacrifice of Abraham seems to ask, how much the side of holiness might manage to include.
The release launch will take place on Monday, October 27th, at 7pm at Honey Ramka Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn (56 Bogart St, First Floor), just off the Morgan Ave L-train.