Videograph Fictions or Graphoems

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Based on television footage from Jason Nelson’s childhood in the 1980s, such as Frankenstein reruns, news coverage of President Reagan, ads for Pacman pasta, bubble gum, and dinoriders, this series of narratives and poems are structured on graphs that are as absurd as the footage itself. The graphs and their accompanying narrative and poetic texts chronicle the rise and fall of characters, a President, secret organizations, and the physical and mental health of gum chewers. Characteristically witty and incisive, Nelson’s writing thrives as a Postmodern critique of culture and politics. At the same time, there is a personal touch to his work, as we can reconstruct aspects of his childhood through the video clips, all evidence of the electronic and physical toys (and their power sources), film and food, and a link to politics and the Cold War— with the terrifying specter of nuclear war hovering over it all. With that in mind, read carefully Nelson’s word choices throughout this work to discover a subtext more poignant than snarky commentary. (Source: Leonardo Flores, I ♥ E-Poetry)

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Hannelen Leirvåg