The House that Hijack Built

The House that Hijack Built

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Author: Adeena Karasick

Publisher: Talonbooks (2004)

The House That Hijack Built explores the possibilities of meaning production when language is pushed to its limits of “logical” or normative semantic patterns. If “to hijack” is “to steal in transit,” this text focuses on how language, with its idioms and ideologies, is appropriated—hijacked and transported—to unknown destinations in the act of its transmission. In her fifth collection of poems / collages, Karasick explores the intersection between das Wahre (the true) and die Wahrheit (the truth), as a language at war with itself re-presents a “real world” reworded between narrations of “the real”—inscribed in ruptures, betrayals and unfulfilled promises—and speaks to a ‘real world’ that wreaks havoc with the very truth it seeks to inhabit.

Included in this collection is a homolinguistic “trans’elation” of the first chapter of the Sefer Yetzirah. Known as The Book of Creation or The Book of the Letters, it is the oldest and most mysterious of all Kabbalistic texts, dating back to 100 BCE. Its focus is on the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet—how they were formed, how they inter-relate, how they make meaning—the text itself inscribed through slippage, elision, rupture and undecideability, foregrounding language as a continuum of letters, names, mathematical equations and gates of meaning. By a technique of slight displacement, slipping one word under another, Karasick mimics Nietzsche’s Geschichte Eines Irrtums History of an Error, announcing the narration of a fabrication: how the “true world” finally becomes a fable.