Monday, May 17, 2010

Aase Berg, With Deer

Here's a good review of Aase Berg's With Deer by Robert Fontella in the online journal Stride:

"The result is that the excessive terror contained within these poems becomes thrilling and by contrast, brightens that which has not yet perished through the recognition of being able to flirt on the macabre edge without being destroyed. It is as if fears themselves can only be recognized through such an intense exploration of the dark. Here in a small book that at first glance might look as polite as any other, Berg has managed to shatter the sanitary aphorism 'from dust to dust' and replace it with the sticky, odorous depiction of 'from muck to muck'"

I like the concept of "thrilling" as an antidote to the constant idea of "critique." One asks you to stand outside, and one possesses (see recent entries on Possession, Artaud, Durbin's teenage girls). I've been thinking of a post-Bernstein ("The Artifice of Absorption" being one of the essays that really helped me think about what I was doing once upon a time) notion of absorption. One of the problems I have with a lot of contemporary poetics criticism is that it's all this stuff about subverting and critiquing and eluding/breaking down but very little about the "thrilling" and fascinating aspect of poetry.

I watched Jack Smith's "Normal Love" last night. It has this amazing thrill, fascination, saturation, almost occult possession. Possibly my favorite movie of all time. Just mesmerizing. I wrote about the connection of Berg and Smith in my essay on "the gurlesque" that was published in Calaveras.


Blogger Unknown said...

It's a great book.
Robert Fontella

10:29 AM  

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