Public Figures

Jena Osman. Wesleyan, $22.95 (87p) ISBN 978-0-8195-7311-7
The fourth volume from Osman (The Network) employs that newly prevalent form, the long lyric essay, with photographs and bits of verse put in: Osman considers the monuments and statues (most of them soldierly) in Philadelphia, where she lives, and imagines their points of view—how they see their city, their country, and the soldiers who are fighting our present-day wars. “These men without a home, without a site to call their own” both authorize and undercut the ongoing exercise of American power overseas. Brief transcripts from soldiers’ conversations in Afghanistan or Iraq appear as running footers for most of the book, until their form takes over, near the end, in a blaze of tough verse: “is it a plane, a camera, or a gun. no need to face/ your quarry.” As much as it objects to some wars far away, the essay keeps its heart in Osman’s Philly, whose streetscapes point both to the present and back to the U.S. Civil War. Osman’s terse juxtapositions, careful background, and her lightly used but deeply relevant quotations place her close to Claudia Rankine, or to Juliana Spahr (with whom Osman edited the influential avant-garde journal CHAIN); the Philadelphia setting, the focus on statues, and the care taken with diagrams, shapes on the page, the life of the eye in urban or national space, set Osman at least a bit apart. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/22/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Show other formats
FORMATS
Open Ebook - 92 pages - 978-0-8195-7312-4
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.