Posts Tagged: violence
I’ll start again by telling you that this is a body. A body that bears the weight of its makers. A body that’s trying to tell a story, without making it pretty, but this is perhaps where poetry fails me, because we want the beauty in language.
To memorialize a tragedy, one must inscribe unmistakable significance into reticent materials, attempting to curb the natural processes of forgetting and obsolescence.
For The Nation, Becca Rothfeld writes about W.G. Sebald, author of The Emigrants, among others, and his obsession with artistic expression as the aestheticization of truth, almost necessarily a “mangling,” when the goal is to memorialize or find deeper truth in the wake of tragedy and violence....more
Because borders are so weird, words proliferate. Along with arbitrary, nonsensical violence—and strange, unpredictable exceptions—people talk a lot and lots of papers get filed, even as all of it is, in practice, evacuated of meaning.
For The New Inquiry, Aaron Bady thinks through the poetics and the “Kafka-esque” violence of borders....more
What I have seen, what we have seen, is language forced into the service of violence. A rhetoric of desperation and devastation molded into the incomprehensible, then vomited out in images and words that we cannot ignore though we have tried.
Oxford academic Elisabeth Kendall has found that poetry may be a major recruitment tool for militant jihadis in the Middle East. Although poetry is often sidelined in Western cultures, it is still important in Arab-speaking nations, where a reality TV show called Millions Poet gets more views than sports events:
“The language of poetry emulates the language in which the Qu’ran was revealed … jihadist publications make liberal use of poetry from the classical heritage, which they largely fail to attribute, but which listeners might find faintly familiar from oral tradition,” [Kendall] says.
Walking straight into violence was nothing new to me. I’d learned how to walk deliberately and unflinchingly into violence from my father, like so many other children do in this country.
In fact, in this country we raise all of our children on one form of violence or another.
Women are raised on images of toxic masculinity just like the men around us are. Many of us also played “Grand Theft Auto” and watched great films featuring tons of sexualized violence against women: “Last Tango in Paris,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Goodfellas,” “Wolf of Wall Street” —the list goes on and on.
But seeing them beating that man on television, it must have scared me so deep, in a place so hidden, that I didn’t even know about it. My brain kept playing as though I were a regular teenager. But my body.