Rare 1st edition hard cover. The definitive text of Perfect Lives is accompanied here by Robert Ashley's plot synopsis and his own candid account of the making of the opera. This is the first publication of the complete narrative of this major work of twentieth century arts and letters. Edited by Melody Sumner Carnahan. 8 1/2 x 7 inches, 224 pages, clothbound, smythe-sewn. Published by Burning Books with Archer Fields Press, 1991.
"Ashley calls the libretto part of a great oral tradition, and, indeed, the text is a contemporary prose poem with many levels of meaning. At times, there is a compelling beauty to Ashley's combination of words which reflects the clarity of his vision. At other times, Ashley combines sounds to suggest the rich mixture of ordinary speech that the observer might hear in any park, store, or bank. The text is suggestive of the works of Gertrude Stein, T. S. Eliot . . . but it is unique and distinct in form. . . . As in the works of Woolf and Joyce, the time element of Perfect Lives is illusive; story lines are taken from the context of the plot, shattered, and scattered throughout the entire opera."
216 pp., 9 x 7 in., offset, clothbound, paper dust jacket