Poetry Against All: A Diary

Poetry Against All: A Diary

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Author: Johannes Göransson

Publisher: Tarpaulin Sky Press (2020)

"This slim journal contains multitudes. It's a compulsively readable account of returning to a childhood home, a provocative meditation on artists such as Susan Sontag, Francesca Woodman, and Andrei Tarkovsky, and a radical reexamination of concepts like ruin porn, tourism, and translation. But mostly it's an urgent manifesto. 'Poetry is obscene,' Göransson writes. 'But there are those who want to maintain the illusion that it is good for us.' This necessary book strips away the various illusions that have obscured poetry's truest values. Göransson concludes: 'This is written without hope.' But paradoxically, Poetry Against All offers just that."

Jeff Jackson

"Moralists who find themselves clutching their pearls about this book of noir perversions should read less literally and see that Göransson's Poetry Against All––for all its anti-libidinous interrogations of pornography, the Holocaust, and cadavers––concerns some of the most relatably humanist emotions of all: grief, the meaning of home, and the protectiveness one has about one's children. Göransson imagines pornography as the body at the edge of otherness, at once alluring and perverse, which is not unlike the lens through which he conceives his own role as immigrant, the contaminant in our body politic, alive to the sheer horror of America but never quite able to go home himself."

Ken Chen