The Blue Tower

Toma'z 'Salamun, Author, Michael Biggins, Translator
Tomaz Salamun, trans. from the Slovenian by Michael Biggins with Tomaz Salamun. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22 (96p) ISBN 978-0-547-36476-6
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“I’m here to detonate your incest, so that now/ his, others’ and my gentle snow can fall on you.” So Salamun concludes a typically explosive three-page poem, one that also features the Italian Renaissance painter Masaccio, the “scents of stable manure,” and Salamun’s Slovenian compatriot, the world-famous cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek. Such exclamations, constant shocks and surprises, and guest appearances by famous individuals take place throughout Salamun’s head-turning, rapid-fire book, his 11th in English translation, whose locales also take in Latin America, Britain, France, and a disturbing pan-European history where “A washed pot, if/ you shine a deer in it, vomits craquelures back in your/ mouth and eyes. “ His quick scene changes and large cast might leave some readers feeling dizzy, but the same effects—as in Salamun’s previous books—might give others the sense of an exciting in-group or the eureka moments of a decoded dream. (Oct.)
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