paperback, 156 pages, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 in
Publication Date: 2008
In Your Body Figured, Douglas A. Martin presents the reader with three prose pieces, each focused on an artist: the painter Balthus, the poet Hart Crane, and finally the Irish painter Francis Bacon as seen through his relationship with model and muse, George Dyer. Each section is a meditation on the relationship between art and life, artist and model, subject and object--evidence of the troubled landscape at the core of human desire and creative production. Martin reaches out to the reader through his near-incantatory use of the second person point-of-view, so that one constantly feels called upon to respond, to return to the text. Evoking a myriad of twentieth century writers—Kathy Acker, Marguerite Duras, Andre Gide, among others—Martin's work breaks from perceived form to create a trilogy of serial narratives that bring the life of the modern artist up against the limits of the body and language.
"Rilke, Balthus, Hart Crane, Francis Bacon: Of their lives and work, and of a lyric examination of the ruthless force of art and the erotic, Douglas A. Martin has conjured a mesmerizing and disturbing text, a gorgeous poem-as-novel set in he wake of the explosive ecstasies of twentieth century art. I have read nothing else like it." —Honor Moore