Monday, June 8, 2009

David Buuck's The Shunt (Palm Press, 2009) - Initial Thoughts Post-Participle(ation)

Just read David Buuck's new The Shunt, another amazing title from Jane Sprague's Palm Press.

Briefly: The Shunt is, as Juliann Spahr notes, "...your brain on war." Imagine n a person in a town in a place with a computer and a television, each tuned to the what if scenario of some imaginary world's (why so familiar?...) distillation of mutilation into pixilated xanax facsimiles, a newsocracy of sound bite without bite, rehearsals of waste and excess and the shakes without waste and excess and the shakes but crash test dummy versions of waste and excess and the shakes. And then imagine that suis generis Spahr speaks of in relation to this work, and give it a name for now: between the cracks and the fissures and the muscle tares at a hundred frames per second there is a particular exhaustion born of sensitivity to all this artifice and mask covering up and recovering from the undertow, the real shit, the onslaught of constant slaughter of which we are, all, culpable. Call it a poetry of counterirony in the face of countercounterinsurgency. Though its tropes play off the image of the failing stand up comedian, as Sianne Ngai rightly notes, it is the aftermath of that comedian's waste, his/her post-stage embarrassments - the failiure of one's affective labor - that is our discomfort. With this imaginary world we are thankful is not real. Of an extraordinary book of post-traumatic recipes we are thankful for having not had to encounter. The Shunt, for instance.

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