Friday, 22 December 2000

From "Andrea Brady's Elections"

By Tom Jones.

Andrea Brady writes poetry in which the demographic and technological contexts for the choosing of names are brought to the fore and made part of a general consideration of the use of signs, poetry in which the violence of political manipulation is seen in the violence done to syntactical norms, but in which nonetheless there is semantic coherence. I do not mean to suggest that there are strictly definable norms for figuration in English, nor that departure from such norms would always best be described as violence, nor that all utterances possess an identical degree of semantic coherence. A basic distinction might be made, for instance, between a violence parallel to political manipulation, and a violence that is resistant to political manipulation; another between intrinsic and extrinsic semantic coherence. It is in the dynamics between these kinds of violence that Brady's poetry operates, in a manner that is exemplary both in ethical and artistic terms. Brady's poetry may have no significant corrective effect on world politics, but it is part of the artistic and political work of international citizenship that literature can contribute to culture at large.

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