Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee


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by Tate, James

Best known for his numerous books of surreal poetry—including Worshipful Company of Fletcher s, which won a National Book Award in , and 's Pulitzer Prize-winning Selected Poems —he has, in the past, refused any attempt to demonstrate his ideas plainly. Through the image, say, of a human head transformed into a multi-limbed pumpkin "50 Views of Tokyo" , or a depiction of a society in which religious leaders are selected according to who throws up "How the Pope is Chosen" , Tate made his fantastically absurdist visions vividly clear.

Consequently, he turns the model he's created for his poetry on its pumpkin head.

It's no small task to explain the surrealism of everyday life in easily recognizable terms, but Tate still manages to embody the daily grind's bizarre qualities within his every word. He hints that the pleasure of communication lies not only in his readers' ability to interpret his stories, but also in their enjoyment of his words' organic sounds—the poetry in his prose. The words are glorious abstractions of real life problems, as are Tate's stories.

Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee (豆瓣)

And that's what draws us to them. We may find the messy relationships and personal shortfalls detailed in Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee to be the stuff of everyday life, but Tate's language makes each of them hyper-real. Though we may not quite understand a narrator's epiphany when phrased as "my husband is the raven of dawn," we can understand her and Tate's quest to make meaning out of nonsense—perhaps ultimately the very point of "everyday life.

Beep, honk.


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And then, as if this is not a satisfactory explanation, he himself lets out a honk. Honk : The word exhilarates James Tate, author of the short story "Beep.

Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee

In his collection Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee , every short story honks: None of the characters speak the same language, and some of the characters simply can't speak at all. In "Hedges, By Sam D'Amico," a lifelong plant expert can't bring himself to write so much as a paragraph about the titular shrubs.

The nervous husband of "Raven of Dawn," who plans on leaving his wife, can only express his guilt by staring into the hole in his backyard. It's a predicament that, appropriately, Tate leaves largely unexplained, save for a single statement by the engineer in "Beep": "I was on the verge of being afraid," he admits, "because the continuity of any conversation could break down at any moment into nonsensical animal noises, which is not really fair to the animal world.

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Skip's voice was sand in the gears of life, grating and, ultimately, destroying the machine by which we live-making sense, cause and response irrelevant. To a certain degree, Tate, too, has broken down the hermeneutic apparatus he's established for himself.


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  • DREAMS OF A ROBOT DANCING BEE by James Tate | Kirkus Reviews.

Best known for his numerous books of surreal poetry—including Worshipful Company of Fletcher s, which won a National Book Award in , and 's Pulitzer Prize-winning Selected Poems —he has, in the past, refused any attempt to demonstrate his ideas plainly. Through the image, say, of a human head transformed into a multi-limbed pumpkin "50 Views of Tokyo" , or a depiction of a society in which religious leaders are selected according to who throws up "How the Pope is Chosen" , Tate made his fantastically absurdist visions vividly clear.

He makes eccentricity look good, as a poet should.

thoughts on what I've been reading

Dreams of the Robot Dancing Bee is his first collection of stories. He teaches at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads.

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Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee
Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee
Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee
Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee
Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee
Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee
Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee
Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee
Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee

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