THE ARAB APOCALYPSE BY ETEL ADNAN
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Sausalito. The Post-Apollo Press. 2006. English Edition. Softcover. Book Condition: Fine. 78 pp. (O.O.P.)
Adnan's book-length piece "The Arab Apocalypse" is beyond any conventional definition of poetry. Somewhere between the extremes of an illustrated poem and Breton's "Writing of the Disaster," the book itself stages an encounter with a kind of poetics that simultaneously demands and refuses the reader as its only witness. Written around the context of the Lebanese War, Adnan presents a discursive autobiography of an attempt to fit a kind of falling apart onto the page itself. Recurring symbolisms, reading instructions, and what look like scribbled hieroglyphs collectively comment on our own incapacity to fully grasp history as it is happening, through a reading experience that pushes language to the limit of its ability to rewrite, to forget.
trans. from the French by the author
foreward by Jalal Toufic