Greg Gerke Two-Pack (Paperback)


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Get Greg Gerke’s Especially the Bad Things and See What I See at a discounted rate!

Especially the Bad Things:

Can a meaningful relationship survive on one person’s love for a beard? Can Shakespeare protect a doomed romance from an angry bee stuck in a car? How does an old iron speak to affairs of the heart? Or a necklace screwed to a wall? Or a neglected lute music CD? And how can we gauge the secret yearnings of the woman who writes novels about werewolves?

Wry and absurd, pithy and profound, the short fiction of Greg Gerke takes the pulse of couples who’ve arrived at the end of something, one-time lovers mired in “the unendurable zone.” Moments of improbable grace are salvaged from bitter break-ups, prolonged languor is punctuated by outbreaks of panic and violence, and the acute pain of thwarted hopes dissipates into indifference. In each of these stories, forty times over, Gerke diagnoses the poisons of heartache with results that pull in two directions at once: comical and grotesque, caustic and humane, sharp-tongued and stirringly sincere.

See What I See:

What does it mean today to experience a work of art? In a culture of cynicism, at the mercy of a zeitgeist that prizes the trivial and ephemeral, where can we turn in search of the genuine, the sincere, the truly accomplished? And even if we were to find these things, would we know how to acknowledge their value?

The essays in See What I See are the fruits of a lifetime spent grappling with these questions. By turns lyrical and arch, nostalgic and impassioned, gnomic and piercingly insightful, they seek answers in the artistic achievements of the great masters as well as in less likely places. For Greg Gerke, the nectar of aesthetic experience is found as often in the human body as in poetry or prose, as much in a movement through the world as on celluloid and canvas. Rapturous and indignant, ecstatic and regretful, his essays register the nuances of living in a world abundant with art, and apprise us, page by page, of the sheer breadth of “the distinguished enterprise of being.”