Ken Chen on Johannes Göransson’s Haute Surveillance

 

culturestrike-logoAt Culturestrike, Ken Chen reviews and excerpts Johannes Goransson’s Haute Surveillance.

Göransson’s book-length poem, writes Chen,haute-cover-fcs

combines all these meanings of pure, fake, authentic, corrupt, synthetic. The poem is an evil Leaves of Grass—not a welcoming cosmic paean to all American citizens, but a nihilistic porno where the pure and the fake copulate with a sordid glory. By real, Göransson means: children burning in bombed buildings, the bodies of foreigners, sperm and blood, traumatized soldiers strangling their wives. By fake, he means: film sets, stunt doubles, poetry. You can see this combo in how he depicts America: America is not an emancipatory pluralistic haven, but an atavistic theater of war, brutally real and, as Baudrillard has written, as simulated as a video game.

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