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Charles Bernstein
    

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NYPOESI 2/06 - SPRÅKBEHERSKELSE

[The editors of Nypoesi asked me to post this description of their new issue, which I recommend browsing through in its entirety.]

Nypoesi is a Scandinavian web magazine for international contemporary poetry, edited from Oslo, Norway. Scandinavian readers easily understand texts written in other Scandinavian languages, still nypoesi is the only literary magazine publishing texts in Norwegian, Swedish and Danish on a regular basis. Lately nypoesi have also published works in non-Scandinavian languages.

The latest issue of nypoesi has just been released, containing works in 6 languages created by 29 authors, translators and visual artists from 9 countries.

The working title of nypoesi 2/06 has been «språkbeherskelse» (one possible translation is «mastering language»). The issue is built around the essay «Writing at the Crossroads of Languages» by Caroline Bergvall. Bergvall writes about plurilingual texts where the assemblage of different languages and levels within the languages does not work as a tool for editing out or harmonizing differences, or join them together in a univocal identity. Instead these texts «open [themselves] to the particulars of space and place» and «demand that readers take into account, and as an indissociable part of reading, their own cultural and linguistic background».

Nypoesi is not a magazine written solely in Norwegian, and being a web magazine it has no real specific geographical location. Still it is situated in a specific linguistic, geographical, historical, economical, social etc context. And it is also situated in a literary climate where the kind of texts that can be read in this issue are continually marginalized – despite the fact that some of the most important thinking on language and identity takes place in and can only be shown through texts like these.

Nypoesi 2/06 contains poems, essays and visual works that examine the specifics of their own locality, whether it is within an official language, a dialect, socially, private, in a genre or in a choice of media.

In addition to the already mentioned essay, Caroline Begvall is presented thoroughly through, among other texts, an unpublished work "Cropper" – where she for the first time uses Norwegian language in a text – and through the Flash animation "Scroll". Joar Tiberg has translated her poem "Flesh" into Swedish, and has also, in collaboration with Stian Kristensen made a Flash animation based on a revised version of the text in «K-ö-t-t-p-u-s-s-l-e-t». Marjorie Perloff writes about the «processual poetics» of Bergvall and Christian Bök.

Johan Jönson, Hanna Hallgren, Mette Moestrup, Pablo Henrik Llambias, Ida Börjel, Vemund Solheim Ådland, Monica Aasprong, Arild Vange and Øyvind Berg contribute with unpublished texts (in Norwegian, Swedish and Danish).

So does the French poets Thomas Braichet and Antoine Hummel and the Canadian poets Christian Bök and Jordan Scott.

In addition we present poetry by Canadian Gregory Betts, French Anne-James Chaton and the Finnish author Leevi Lehto.

Leevi Lehto also contributes with the essay "Plurifying the Languages of the Trite" which is based on a speech he did at the «Poetry in a time of War and Banality»-conference in Sao Paolo on May 25th. In his essay Lehto, a poet with a background from the Finnish communist party, propose a multilingiustic writing and publishing practice that will "[help] free the revolutionary potential of poetry from the burden of (old) ideological identifications."

Hanna Hallgren writes about finding a way to write inside the Swedish language as a poet, an academic, a lesbian, a daughter etc.: «A style leaking between criticism, poetry and academia. That destroys the notion of these as separate entities or systems. And a style that writes itself closer to life; the experiences you have – as a minority and a majority» (in Swedish).

Charles Bernstein's essay on Gertrude Steins attempt to invent "a new American" partly based on the immigrants broken English is translated into Norwegian.

Last but not least: an unrevised book by Jörgen Gassilewski and Bengt Olof Johansson. Bok, Book, Livre examines – among other things – the book as medium and handwriting as a personal signature.

We also publish new correspondent reports. Nathalie Quintane and Juliana Spahr writes about French and American plurilingual poetics, Christian Bök writes about the antologhy Shift & Switch, while Chris Goode reports form Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry.

We would also like to remind you of the previous edition of nypoesi, where you can find previously unpublished poems by the American poets Michael Palmer and Jena Osman, the French poet Pascalle Monnier and the German poet Barbara Köhler in addition to works by some of Scandinavia’s foremost poets.

The working title of our next issue is «translation». This issue will be an exploration into the translation process. That is, not texts translated into another language or texts about translation, but texts where the translation process is readable. A more detailed call for work is to come within the next weeks.

link    |  June 17, 2006


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