At Red Fez, Robert Kloss reviews Johannes Göransson’s entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate, calling it “one of those rare literary achievements, a work so new and brilliant and strange that a reviewer initially fumbles for any possible comparisons and antecedents to make sense of the text in-question.”
Which makes us extra delighted that Kloss did the hard work necessary to review such groundbreaking work.
Some of our favorite passages:
None of the ready comparisons really live up to this new object, not even that readiest of comparisons, the plays of Jean Genet, with their obsessions of identity, their masks, their pageantry, their crime and lust and perversity all rendered in an overstuffed and too-gorgeous language of musky flowers, thieves, and dead whores. Indeed, nothing really prepares the reader for pageant’s unrelenting deluge of horrific and make-up smutty images, narrated by a shifting cast of impossible size and historical identity, beneath various masks and disguises, and always in the same over-bursting and beautiful writing….
It is in this chaotic frenzy that we find the energy of modern America, the cancers and AIDS and assassinated presidents and malls and pageants, as well as a hint of the history of America, in pageant’s obsession with Natives, contagion, pigs, and horses, for what did this first colonists set loose to breed and overrun the landscape but disease, swine, horses?
pageant is alive with the fear of colonization, both by disease and immigrant…. Conflation of art and violence is also witnessed throughout….
pageant is a strange and new tidal force. And, as such, I highly recommend it. With no true literary antecedent as preparation, the accumulating horror of Göransson’s prose onslaughts overwhelm with their ruthless beauty, to remarkable and lasting effect.
Read the full review.
Read more about, and peek inside, entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate.