War Spasm Gristle Day: Joyelle McSweeney on Aase Berg, Translation and Cúchulainn

by on Jul.18, 2013

[I forgot to link to Joyelle’s essay on “War Spasm” now up on The Volta:]

1)I write in contaminated, rampant, ill, struggling, fetid and fatal forms because that is where I exist and what life is. I exist as a spasm, a plasmodial wiggle, and I live in an impossible state—the and/or. The and/or is not quite two things, it is not quite one, it is more than two and less than one, at once. It’s devastating, debilitating, and a little bit great. The and/or is a paradoxical and volatile and impossible material. You can make it in a pressure cooker, set it to cook while you’re on shift, a hot dinner for the kids, a home-cooked meal. Or cook it up in an industrial plant in West, Texas. You can collapse a stacked-up garment factory in Dhaka, or just work there, or just buy clothes, munch labor like a weevil or spirochete. It will grow within you, without you. It will wrap its tough fungal strands around your spinal chord where it cannot be removed. Column, columbia, dove of peace, fatal phalanx. The and/or pours irrationality down into the would-be technically assessable, economically appraisable pre-fab units of literary form and blows them apart. To high heaven. To kingdom come. Or to the rehab ward, where your life will be saved thanks to battlefield medicine. Thanks to a decade of war, now in syndication. Thanks to Bellona’s many corporate syndicates. The and/or is really an ‘or.’ The and/or is an ‘or’ which means ‘and.’ It is an or which will not let you alone. An occult ampersand. A bitch to watch out for. Trouble every day.

For more go here.

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