Annotating Hiroshima, Mon Amour
Konchan, Virginia A.
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What binds subject to object, the individual to the collective, and a projected reality, or cri de coeur, to its authentication, in time? Annotating Hiroshima, Mon Amour is a collection of lyric poetry which explores the relationship of the textual archive to other forms of media—visual art, music, and film. The collection uses the trobe of being written by an other, or providing a footnote to another art form (a logocentric text that annotates a medium made of signs, such as cinema). In this collection, the collapse of an I/Thou dialectic, intrinsic to the call and response history of the lyric, looms, spurring the urgency of the speakers, as they seek to secure the presence of an other. Through personae such as Napoleon, Dolores Haze, Mark Rothko, and Zsa Zsa Gabor, the collection moves through the major historical and art movements of the 20th century, conscious of and resisting the modernist trope of form-seeking, not only for the unthought thought, or the event horizon, but also the trauma of history and the thralldom of invention, whether of self, nation, art, or societal product, through a welter of mediums and modes of expression. This is a necessarily failed attempt, as consciousness is predicated upon selection and limitation: many of the poems speak to the terminus, then, not of hope, or possibility, but fusion with the beloved, and, phenomenologically and aesthetically, a unified field.