Caroline Bergvall
Goan Atom

ISBN 1-928650-08-2
78 pages




This is work which flaunts its poetic affiliations with some panache. The opening epigraph from Duchamp - "Arrhe ce que merdre est... merde" - suggests the workings of a cosmopolitan wit, suspicious of the superiority of "art" over other games, and happy with a whiff of eau de toilette from the Dada urinal. The text parenthesises a "Homage to Louise Bourgeois", and gives succour to impressions that this is a post-Dada, post-surrealist poetics, one that pooh-poohs the boy's own paper heroics otherwise familiar from various admirers of Bataille and Deleuze. If the epigraph also arouses expectations that the book will play with the poetic, idiomatic and vulgar potential of dropped consonants and arty franglais, then readers are in for a treat.

--Drew Milne

Our responsibilities did not begin in dreams, though they began in bed.

--Frank O'Hara

Caroline Bergvall is a poet based in England. She has had texts published in a range of magazines and anthologies in the UK and North America. Some of her writing commissions have developed into collaborative live performances and text-based installations, of which Eclat, a walkman tour of a domestic space, later reconstructed as a book (Sound & Language, 1996) and a magazine collaboration with a graphic designer (Performance Research 1996) and Ambient Fish, a sound-text installation, later turned into a net piece (1999). Goan Atom is an ongoing project of texts and text-related events of which Krupskaya's Doll concludes the first period of work. Her critical work is increasingly concerned with contextualised text practices and bilingual or plurilingual writing projects. She is Associate Fellow in Performance Writing, Dartington College of Arts, England.