Poetics of Work
Noemi Lefebvre, Sophie Lewis
I was trying not to think about looking for work, which is immoral, I wasn’t hoping to earn a living, which is pretty unusual, I couldn’t have cared less about the cash, which is reckless in these times of very grave threats, but I was scraping a living already, which was repugnant, on the miniscule royalties from a thickwit novel, which is scandalous, which I’d created from the stories of a brilliant and brittle grand dame of theatre, survivor of a romance full of stereotypes, which makes you think though I don’t know what about.’ Sparring with the spectre of an over-bearing father, torn between the push to find a job and the pull to write, the narrator wanders into a larger debate, one in which the troubling lights of Kafka, Kraus, and Klemperer shine bright. Set against the backdrop of police brutality and rising nationalism that marked the state of emergency following the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, Poetics of Work takes a jab at the values of late capitalism. Hence these ten ‘lessons to today’s young poets’ – a blistering treatise of survival skills for the wilfully idle
'A smart, timely, and novel manifesto for poetics in the age of personal and political patriarchy.' -Joanna Walsh, author of Break.up; 'Lefebvre's shiftless narrator searches for the place of poetry in a world gone mad, where the "culture sector is a graveyard for the soul's repose." ... an interior monologue filled with sharp observations, hysterical asides, and a sincere search for personal truth. Lefebvre succeeds in mapping out an unquiet mind in the midst of crisis.' - Publishers Weekly; 'Noemi Lefebvre refines a form of vital poetic resistance that ultimately liberates a strange and subversive political animal, half orang and half utan. At once lyrical and feverish, Poetics of Work will do you a power of good.' -Le Monde des livres; 'Lefebvre writes like a hiker who enjoys nothing more than staying where they are, following dead ends or winding, risky paths.' - Les Inrockuptibles; 'Lefebvre stands up to the language of capitalism. She invents her own to elude the law of market forces, which exists in the name of the father. In doing so, she insinuates herself between the lines of the dominant discourse, swimming against the tide of prevailing neoliberalism and its categorical imperatives.' - L'Humanite
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