Gunslinger (Ed Dorn poem)
Gunslinger is the title of a long poem in six parts by Ed Dorn.
Book I was first published in 1968, Book II in 1969, The Cycle ('Book 2 1/2') in 1971, The Winterbook (Book III) in 1972, Bean News (Gunslinger's 'secret book') in 1972, and 'Book IIII' as part of the complete Slinger (minus Bean News) in 1975. Gunslinger is Dorn's best-known work, and widely considered his most important.
The gunslinger is a long form political poem about a demigod cowboy, a saloon madam, and a talking horse named Claude Levi-Strauss, who travel the Southwest in search of Howard Hughes.
The conversation stream of the poem is constantly interrupted. Dorn mixes the jargon of drug addicts, Westerners, and others to reflect the jumble of American speech. He seems to intentionally frustrate the reader; syntax is ambiguous, punctuation is sparse, and puns, homonyms, and nonsense words become an integral part of conversation.
- Edward Dorn, Biographical note, Tens #1, ed. Bill Little (Los Angeles, July 1972), p. 1.
- ‘An Interview with Edward Dorn’ by John Wright (1990), Chicago Review, 49.3/4 & 50.1, Edward Dorn: American Heretic, ed. by Eirik Steinhoff (Summer 2004), pp. 167-215.
- Edward Dorn, Slinger, (Wingbow Press, Berkeley CA, 1975).
- Edward Dorn, Gunslinger, (Duke University Press, Durham NC, 1989).
- Google books, referencing Gunslinger
- Charles Potss from Cento magazine on Gunslinger
- Edward Dorn
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