Review of Eugene Ostashevsky’s THE PIRATE WHO DOES NOT KNOW THE VALUE OF PI

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2 April 2017, at Hyperallergic.com.

A pirate and his parrot go a-raiding on the high seas and in outrageous and hilarious rhymes across several languages, including English, Greek, sign, logic, math, and Russian. While Eugene Ostashevsky–poet, translator, scholar–is the father of two young daughters and a fan of Dr. Seuss, he no longer thinks it is “possible to write anything serious that is not funny.”

While we laugh as the piratical pair contemplate “whether booty actually is truth,” at the core of these poems lie the opacity, instability, and deep pleasures of language; the tragic and comic encounters between discoverer and “native” and between self and Other; and the unreliability of translation or communication.

“Hello, nice weather we’re having, says the parrot. How do the grammatical structures of your language affect your experience of it?”

Read the rest of the review here.

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