Common Place by Sarah Pinder
Moez Surani's ةيلمع Operación Opération Operation 行 动 Oперация is a poetic inventory of contemporary rhetoric of violence and aggression, as depicted through the evolution of the language used to name the many military operations conducted by UN Member Nations since the organization’s inception in 1945.
Surani draws from two poetic traditions—conceptual poetry, with its appropriation and filtration of language and its methodological focus on establishing rigorous constraints from which poems develop and emerge; and inventory poems that aggregate small parts into larger, inferred meanings. In so doing, he achieves two important aims: On the one hand, he shows that no word is free from connoting violence—where “tulip” and “grasshopper” are equal to “killer” and “bone breaker,” no word is inherently innocent, beautiful, or good. On the other hand, he provokes people to consider whether their personal values match the values of the military operations that are conducted by their countries, often in the name of protecting and/or representing those same citizens.
By pulling military language away from euphemism—effectively, making it account for its doublespeaking ways—ةيلمع Operación Opération Operation 行动 Oперация documents the chasm that exists between these two sets of values, and gives voice to the many lives lost in conflicts around the world, in a volume that will speak equally to lovers of contemporary poetry, language, and linguistics, as to readers interested in politics, international relations, and public discourse.
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