[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: theNewerYork Press
Formats: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon [/alert]

Sharpen is a work in experimental fiction. It is a collection of very short stories and illustrations, organized into a manual for absolutely nothing. Each chapter begins with an diagram of a tool like a vise or the inner ear, followed by a written meditation on varies ideas, and ends with an illustration – a visual representation of the written meditation.

Ives writing oscillates between being very difficult to decipher and beautiful. The reader may walk away from Sharpen scratching their head wondering what on earth they read. It is hard to understand what Ives was trying to get across. Unless the reader is willing to spend a lot of time teasing apart each sentence it is hard to pick out themes. This does not mean that this collection is without beauty or value, but while the beauty may be evident the value is probably a little more elusive. The diagrams are interesting and the illustrations are brainteasers, but be prepared for confusion.

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