Stephen Emmerson is utterly, unquestionably of the now, but he nonetheless has something of the futurist about him. His work has the velocity and violence of Marinetti in its blurred, broken asynchronous syntax. But whereas Marinetti et al unambiguously celebrated velocity and – at least until they got a touch of non-theoretical cold steel themselves in the trenches of World War I – violence, Emmerson itemises and deconstructs them. He is less interested in warp speed, more in the speed of the warp, in the rate that sociological, technological and chemical variables are wreaking havoc upon our bodies and our neural wiring. His exploration of this liminal territory is both ruthless, in that his work has no pity, least of all for himself, and relentless. Nothing is out of bounds. Telegraphic Transcriptions blends the lexes of medicine, popular culture, legality and illegality, utilising typographical mutations, objets trouve and many words that may be neologisms (“guffbox”, anyone?) or recherché slang and its own brand of Polari to create a poetic document of remarkable pace and power that perpetually dices with dissolution, only to be brought back again and again by the writer’s skill and iron control.
– Tom Jenks
Special thanks to Richard Barrett at Department who originally published Telegraphic Transcriptions.
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