Turn Left in Order to Go Right

By Norman Fischer


O Books
Original Language(s)
Additional Credits
Cover art by Leslie Scalapino
Edition, Year
First Edition, 1989
In Print

In Turn Left in Order to Go Right, Norman Fischer’s most ambitious collection to date, the form is not different from practice, which is the unfolding of phenomena as they arise. Charles Bernstein has said of Norman Fischer’s writing: “Incandescently tranquil, the poems of Norman Fischer neither confront nor confirm, preferring to give company along the way.”

Norman Fischer
Norman Fischer was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1946. He attended college in upstate New York, the Midwest, and California. A Zen priest, he has trained under several American Zen teachers, and received Dharma Transmission in the Suzuki-roshi ... Read More

I am always trying to think about how to write. As if starting over again. So that I am using different modes all the time and seem to resist doing what I know how to do, resist using modes I may think I have gotten good at. In some visceral way, my feeling is that everything I have written is unsuccessful, and that now, today, as I write, I might find out how to do it right, in a completely different way. Of course I know I never will. Still, I have that feeling–that writing is essentially inexpressible and mysterious, and one is always trying to figure out how to do it and never quite getting there. That there is something absolutely essential to be expressed but one can’t ever quite express it. So it always feels like finding a new way to write, starting completely over again on a new tack.

— Norman Fischer, interview at The Argotist Online


Praise for Turn Left in Order to Go Right

Norman Fischer’s new book is like one of those Baccarat crystal paperweights, a smooth clear ball of glass containing intricate designs in many brilliant colors. Each design element is individual and isolated, set exactly in place and yet clearly related to the rest, in total silence.

— Philip Whalen

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