Archive for August, 2010

Evan J. Peterson Reviews Narcissus Resists for The Rumpus

Posted in Uncategorized on August 4, 2010 by matthewhittinger

Evan J. Peterson gives a thorough and thoughtful review of Narcissus Resists at The Rumpus.  Here’s a preview:

Despite what brooding know-it-alls in your workshop or writer’s circle tell you, Greek mythology is neither dead, nor tacky, nor useless to contemporary poetry. With Narcissus Resists , Matthew Hittinger provides readers with a crown of fourteen sonnets, each developing the character of the man-child smitten with his own image in an image-obsessed contemporary culture, all intermingled with five ekphrastic meditations on Dali’s “Metamorphosis of Narcissus.” Hittinger pulls in inspiration and language from Ovid (of course), Eliot, James Bidgood’s remarkably indulgent film Pink Narcissus, Jeanette Winterson, Angela Carter, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.


As a chapbook, Narcissus Resists works. Across nineteen poems, a conceit such as this can get old, but Hittinger keeps his book compelling and engaging. The glimpses of Dali’s painting, interspersed with the snapshots of Narcissus’ misadventures, provide the momentum necessary. Momentum alone would not be sufficient, but the language is clever and luxurious enough to keep one reading.

Click to read the whole thing!