Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Two reviews of With Deer

Here are too reviews of With Deer by Aase Berg (which I translated) from the online journal Galatea Resurrects:

First a very physical, very close reading by Rebecca Loudon: "These poems feel like an entire burgeoning, surrealistic, post-apocalyptic creation of a planet and that planet’s inhabitants, that starts at the bottom of a tarn or tjärnes, a small lake thick with vegetation."

I like the way Loudon picked up on the humor as well as what she calls "bodice-ripper," the kind of kitschy high romantic romance/S&M that Berg pastiches in certain places. I think it actually comes from her mentor, Rut Hillarp's sexual novels from the 1950s, which Aase writes about in her new book of essays Uggla.

And one by Gabriel Lovatt, which is a really fine essay on the book:

"...In Berg’s poetry, there are no fixed images or agents to calm the tumult. The figurative does not work to establish an easily discernible system of aesthetic correlations, but, instead, functions as a machine of mutation, almost always indicating a radical shift in the entire reality of the poem. It is an extraordinarily subtle way of unsettling and effacing the concept of subjectivity by vacillating between a. /the formal categories of the figurative and literal and b. / the ideological concepts of subject and object."


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