Dyssemia Sleaze by Adeena KarasickDyssemia Sleaze by Adeena Karasick

Dyssemia Sleaze

byAdeena Karasick

Paperback | March 15, 2000

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Adeena Karasick's fourth book of poetry achieves an astonishing layered complexity and maturity. Dyssemia Sleaze is at one and the same time Karasick's most political and most personal book to date. Its performance is that of an inter-folded language, woven (shuffled) back and forth between the perpetual absence of intimations of the thing itself and the rupture of the ever-present metamorphoses of its mediation. This tapestry of syntax, the fitting of one wordto another, becomes a triumph, in this book, of the feminine sensibility over the linear, masculine, causal narrative (what used to be called 'naive realism'). It is the feminine soul crying at the 'Mehitzah,' the wall that separates the male and female worshipers in the Jewish temple. It is the woman at the temple screen, impervious to anything but language, as the current post-modern heir to authenticity.This is a book of walls: defensive walls that keep people out-thegarrison; and inclusive walls that keep people in-paradise. And it is a book of transgression-of messengers, both voluntary and mercenary, who pass and carry the notes and letters, both living and dead, between those who are without and those who are within those walls.At times, Karasick's language becomes the veritable milk of life: you, the reader, the child of innocence, get whatever mama's eaten that day," both "itself," and "itself mediated," always unpredictably. The very sensuality of its presentational style (full colour image-text collage) is at one and the same time in dire conflict with the complex austerity of its exegesis-the heartbreak of recognition illustrated in the mirror of desire. Knowing here (her) is always the illusion of the illustration of the object of desire: certainty is a fetish of bondage; knowing the opening of the mouth (wound) of the tear into substance. And the laughter, that dangerous laughter."

About The Author

Adeena Karasick Adeena Karasick is a poet, cultural theorist and the critically acclaimed author of seven books of poetry and poetic theory. She is currently Professor of Global Literature at St. John's University. Her writing has been described as "electricity in language" and noted for its "cross-fertilization of punning and knowing...
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Details & Specs

Title:Dyssemia SleazeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:96 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.3 inPublished:March 15, 2000Publisher:Talon Books LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:088922434x

ISBN - 13:9780889224346

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Continuing her pop-charged, extroverted and libidinal poetic investigations, Canadian ex-pat Karasick (Memewars; The Empress has No Closure, etc.) here offers her most visually compelling, over-the-top collection to date. A high-end production -- one of the few paperbound books of poetry to boast full-colour, glossy pages throughout -- the book uses photographs, drawings, multiple typefaces, the "open field" spatial accoutrements of projective verse and other kitchen sink-isms to propel words across, under and on top of the page -- and in one's face. The sequence "Menaheh Yehuda" invokes the 1997 bombing of a Jerusalem market and jars each syllable forward on the phonemic contours of the preceding -- trashing, along the way, notions of lyrical morality by sexualizing the event's horror and troping Jewinsh cosmopolitanist stereotypes: "Tropic/blot clotters/ a cotillion of many cullers, isolata eros swigs in/ blunt pulses & skins the surface of/ her dimpled limits/ fermented in riggish gashings/ grasped in spronges frottage ruffles fetchings/ fraught with haute conduits." The book's centerpiece, "Improbably Grammars V" juxtaposes a barrage of quotes about and images of the Western Wall with deformations of Mattise, Haring, adlike depictions of women's bodies and didactic theoretical text. The clashing color images and attention-deficit typefaces ("dyssemia" is a coinage for dirupted units of meaning) are eye-catching, but fail to develop a sustained critique of their seeming targets -- sexism, capitalism, anti-Semitism, troubled Arab-Israeli relations -- through the text-as-theory and the naked, juggled graphemes (the effect of which can't be reproduced here) conspire to create some intriguing hermeneutic whirlpools The book as a whole is most successful as an exhibitionistic, youthful, pseudo-hysterical display of ambition and desire, and points the way to further poetic appropriations of images and politically explosive material.     Publishers Weekly, August 14, 2000