The Anthologist (novel)

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The Anthologist
Author Nicholson Baker
Genre Literary fiction
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication date
September 2009
ISBN 978-1-4165-7244-2

The Anthologist is a novel about poetry by Nicholson Baker which was first published in 2009.

Its protagonist is Paul Chowder, a poet with a commission to prepare and edit an anthology of poetry, Only Rhyme. The novel shows his life, his thoughts, aspirations and struggles with writer's block.


Michael Schmidt[disambiguation needed], reviewing the book for The Independent, gave it a mixed reception,[1]

The ineffectual protagonist is a beguiling misfit, advancing at tangents, a pair of ragged claws. The novel misfires when this voice is overridden by that of the author who makes Chowder into his own spokesman, giving him opinions on Larkin, Marinetti or Pound, either at odds with the character or outside the parameters of the novel.

David Orr, reviewing for The New York Times, liked the novel's portrayal of, and engagement with, the world of poets and poetry,[2]

Yet somehow Nicholson Baker has written a novel about poetry that’s actually about poetry — and that is also startlingly perceptive and ardent, both as a work of fiction and as a representation of the kind of thinking that poetry readers do.

Poets and works discussed[edit]

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15


  1. ^ Michael Schmidt (11 September 2009), "The Anthologist, By Nicholson Baker", The Independent on Sunday 
  2. ^ David Orr (September 1, 2009), "Rhyme and Unreason", The New York Times 

External links[edit]