Meddle English

New and Selected Texts



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Additional information

Weight .55 lbs
Dimensions 5.2 × .8 × 7.2 in

This book gathers a decade of Caroline Bergvall’s innovative pieces, from her long out-of-print performance text Goan Atom, inspired by the graphic contortions of Hans Bellmer’s Doll and violent love fantasies of other radical body-inspired artists, The Shorter Chaucer, a series of contemporary tales exploring social mores in a feisty mix of languages, and the hybrid and visual prose pieces Cropper, Cat in the Throat, and Middling English. This volume—rich, multi-layered, acerbic, humorous—creates a strong case for how new literature can provide speculative and performative excursions into post-urban lives and idioms and explore renewed visions for languages.


Caroline Bergvall has emerged over the past decade as one of the most brilliantly inventive poets of our time.

-Charles Bernstein
ISBN: 9780982264584
paperback, 176 pages, 5 1/4 x 7 1/4 in
Publication Date: 2011

For a person relatively unversed in the particularities of her idiolectic, mixed languages, her poetic texts might read like computer code; but since the effort is meaningful, what of it? It points toward the last paradox, that despite her texts’ sophistication — which might seem to inaugurate strictly intellectual pleasures — when the texts enter into the reader’s ear and/or metaphorical bloodstream, the first clear pleasures are intuitive, those of sound, rhythm and cadence and the forever-alive performative dimension of speech. The delights are as alive (and personal) as language exists in the morning before you have re-coded it all into the Queen’s English, or the rational language of book-reviews, or even syntax itself.

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Caroline Bergvall is a writer of French-Norwegian origins based in London. She works across art-forms, media and languages; outputs alternate between books, collaborative performances and lan­guage installations …

More about Caroline Bergvall