Experts are Puzzled

Experts are Puzzled

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Author: Laura Riding 

Editor: George Fragopoulos

Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2018)

A nearly impossible text to categorize—is it a collection of short stories, prose poems, manifestos or something else entirely?—Experts Are Puzzled is one of Laura Riding’s earliest and most intense examinations of poetry’s and language’s relationship to truth. In essayistic examinations such as the titular piece, “Introduction to a Book on Money,” and “An Address to America,” Riding seeks to articulate a higher, more poetic notion of truth and truth telling. As such, Experts Are Puzzled stands as an essential text for understanding why Riding came to reject poetry in the late 1930s. While excerpts and selections from Experts have been published before, most notably in Riding’s Progress of Stories, the entirety of the collection has not appeared in print since its initial publication by Jonathan Cape in 1930.

Introduction by Mark Jacobs and George Fragopoulos.

"It is wonderful to discover Laura Riding's all but unknown Experts are Puzzled, an oddity that is just short of being a masterpiece, wherein fiction and philosophy are inextricably and wonderfully melded. Now it is time to revive her other major prose works, notably the dazzling Progress of Stories and the historical novel, A Trojan Ending."

–John Ashbery