Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

art is autonomous

Featured Title – Human Resources by Rachel Zolf

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Rachel Zolf | Human Resources | Coach House | 2007 | Goodreads | LibraryThing | 3 mentions in Attention Span 2008

zolf-resourcesThe back cover suggests reading this book as “the creative potential of salvage” and that’s a pretty good description. This book has a pissed-off ironic tone that reveals how junk-language permeates our everyday life, and there’s no redemption: “Our abstractions stink of pure gibberish.” Ain’t that the truth! This book is definitely not wallowing in abstractions – which is very refreshing. (Kristin Prevallet)

Like spam but better, Human Resources reworks the junk language of the internet to bring to the surface it’s conflicted relationship to desire. On the one hand, spam is work written by a bot. On the other hand, spam is work written to be an intrusion in lives of people who are not bots: to spark the reader’s interest with its outrageous subject-heading or its surprising collage of often-sexualized language. Zolf uses this language to write a book not written by a bot, a book about desire as articulated by a person who speaks the language of spam, a language which is not necessarily rational, but which as immediate as a Jaguar eating a man’s face (as seen in Apocalypto). This book is spazzy, surprising and over-the-top. Since I only like things that are over-the-top, I like this book. (Steven Zultanski)

Also mentioned by Joel Bettridge.

Written by Steve Evans

June 12, 2009 at 4:52 pm

One Response

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  1. [...] introduced by Rachel Levitsky. • More Zolf on PennSound. About Human Resources at Coach House. Human Resources in Attention Span [...]


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