I want an ingenious fibre to be treated as funny tragedy expressing a classic argument against materialism which runs like this: which changes of costume are bound to be dangerous?
The Apothecary is an extinct fern called a sentence unfurling in the mists. It is also Lisa Robertson’s first book. Originally published in a small edition by Tsunami Editions in Vancouver in 1991, it quietly disappeared until it was re-released in 2001 on a need-to-know-basis. BookThug is now pleased to make this text available in a more permanent and pleasing edition.
The Apothecary stems from the author’s desire to remake the sentence—to let it be capacious, preposterous, convivial, and to hang it from a pronoun worn like a phantom limb. Robertson wants that ghostly pronoun to reinvent itself afresh in each sentence. Looking towards the eighteenth century, sometimes through a lens occasionally borrowed from contemporary sources, the text of The Apothecary is precise, intoxicating materia medica dispensed by one of Canada’s most important contemporary poets at the beginning of her career with the use of florid instruments.
Lisa Robertson was born in Toronto and for many years lived in Vancouver, where she was a member of the Kootenay School of Writing and Artspeak Gallery. She is the author of The Apothecary, XEclogue, Debbie: An Epic, which was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award in 1998, The Weather (awarded the Relit Poetry Prize in 2002), Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture (a Village Voice top book of 2004), and Rousseau’s Boat (which won the 2005 bpNichol Chapbook Award). Her most recent work is The Men. She lives in France.