At the Los Angeles Review of Books, I review S.D. Chrostowska's work of experimental criticism, Matches:
Matches could variously be described as a miscellany, a commonplace book, a series of meditations. Some might initially regard it as a more or less disconnected collection of pensées (a quite sizable collection at that), although the generally abbreviated prose pieces — a few lines to a few pages — that comprise the book are less undeveloped than highly compressed, and what at first seems simply a fragmentary discourse soon enough coheres, structurally and thematically. But certainly readers expecting conventionally realized critical essays, close readings, or historical analyses, the kind of book Chrostowska describes in her introductory “Proem,” in which “the words, erect, line up in columns and salute from every page,” will have to adjust their assumptions about what “criticism” properly entails.