A J Carruthers Reviews Holly Childs

By | 1 May 2015

These lines are constructions that are at once auto-citational, auto-referential and allocentric. They are punceptual (Lana Del Relationship [!]), and flat, aware of the book and the writerly such that we are continually reminded that we are reading. This is not to say, however, that the writerly trumps content. Content still matters, is the matter. In ‘6.5 Hypoballad’, Childs writes:

            Activity diary:
                        can Bam phone a friend? who are her friends?
                        does she have anyone she can tell that Stan is just lurking her?
            like maybe Pansy? but probably not ... idk
                        and she has no phone
                        an element or a character is missing
                        there is no sun but it's hot as hell
                        posters ripped from windows leaving holographic butterflies
            of Blu-Tack and Duct tape
                        i saw Celine Dion dancing and swirling CGI in a little girly
            white thing in my dream
                        both CDs played at the same time (high quality audio)
                        CD rip, burn, scratch
                        flying is special                                                 

Diary meets technology in these reveries from the century just past. Or, the work of art in the age of Retro/Future-Tech will describe the remediation and demediation of old (90s) technologies in their appearance alongside contemporary tech. CD’s are likely to appear in montage with Goophones, for instance. Something in the narrative is missing. There’s static. Could Avital Ronell, writing The Telephone Book at the cusp of the 90s, have anticipated the Goophone? We are well into the 21st century now, past finitude’s score. The geological layers of technology are deepening. Welcome to the Cathedral.

Hypnotically uninteresting, thrillingly intermundane, Danklands lovingly affirms the reader in pinks, purples, blues, greys, neons, gelatins, gelidity, lolly fluro yellows, salt crystals and Sanrio pixels. Affirms because we are in the language of the real world. Whether realism is at stake is not a certainty, but realness is. Ambient, anachronistic, pharmacotextual, Danklands is the layered, sleepy, abstract realism of the intermundane present. This book lives affectively in the world of the real, the universe(s) of online media, screen tints, ChatLang and chatlog, and an acceptance of the language of everyday life. This is the writing of now, and the questions raised will determine the future of Australian writing. How might poetics host or contain these rich sources of language? How might we all break from nationalist assemblages in true avant-garde spirit? How might we compromise with, and/or co-inhabit, the digital?

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