Acclaimed artist Kenneth Goldsmith’s thousand-page homage to New York City. Here is a kaleidoscopic assemblage and poetic history of New York: an unparalleled and original homage to the city, composed entirely of quotations. Drawn from a huge array of sources—histories, memoirs, newspaper articles, novels, government documents, emails—and organized into interpretive categories that reveal the philosophical architecture of the city, Capital is the ne plus ultra of books on the ultimate megalopolis. It is also a book of experimental literature that transposes Walter Benjamin’s unfinished magnum opus of literary montage on the modern city, The Arcades Project, from nineteenth-century Paris to twentieth-century New York, bringing the streets and its inhabitants to life in categories such as “Sex,” “Central Park,” “Commodity,” “Loneliness,” “Gentrification,” “Advertising,” and “Mapplethorpe.” Capital is a book designed to fascinate and to fail—for can a megalopolis truly ever be captured in words? Can a history, no matter how extensive, ever be comprehensive? Each reading of this book, and of New York, is a unique and impossible project.
About the Author: Kenneth Goldsmith is the founding editor of UbuWeb, teaches Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and is Senior Editor of PennSound. He was an artist and sculptor for many years before taking up conceptual poetry. He has since published ten books of poetry and is the author of a book of essays, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in a Digital Age. He was the first Poet Laureate of the Museum of Modern Art. He resides in New York City with his wife, artist Cheryl Donegan and his two sons.