Leave Your Body Behind

Sandra Doller. Les Figues (SPD, dist.), $17 trade paper (134p) ISBN 978-1-934254-57-8
In hybrid-genre prose, writer and translator Doller (Man Years) draws on performance and memory to forge a text that is as surprising in its range of address as it is unexpectedly cohesive. From the opening pages, Doller establishes a syntax that throws language off-kilter while still welcoming readers along: "Twenty two years it took me—takes me—to make this for form from scratch." Onward, the text switches between stilted aphorisms and observations (strung together in paragraphs) and epigraphs from eclectic texts that address memory, gender, writing, embodiment, and technology, among other topics. The two modes play well off each other, with Doller's deft sentences performing a weird sort of memory retrieval while the epigraphs offer hints of the work's theoretical foundation. As a result, lines such as "In Great Falls a greatly state was made. A harboring device was used to track and trim it in" resonate not only for the pleasure of the language, but as an integral part of an enjoyable performative experiment. "Every moment recorded is a moment truly lost," Doller writes, propelling the text forward with barely enough time to ponder the aphorism's implications. There is room enough in Doller's work for a breadth of images and sly narratives; it's more expansive than most books, yet it remains unified. (May)
Reviewed on: 09/07/2015
Release date: 05/01/2015
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