Hamlet famously found himself ill at the numbers of poetry. These poems are no less ill at ease with the metrical or geometrical principles which constrain their movements, though freedom from maths is hard won. While Milne's earlier poems have a reputation for opacity, the aphoristic prose poems which make up 'Aftermaths', the book's concluding afterword, offer a blisteringly explicit account of the book's arguments. Part of the resulting excitement of this new poetic book-form is the tension between the parts that make up the whole. Go Figure's internal resonances thus combine extraordinary levels of refracted or playful poetic detail with direct challenges to the way life, art and society are currently constituted. Through the rubble of capitalism's wars, fetishes and interior decorations, the book seeks figures for what comes after maths. Out of the poetics of everyday life, maths are found wanting, while fragments of a different, more speculative approach are put forward.
A variety of mathematical masks, formulae and mysteries are exposed, but the biological tyranny of number-crunching is also found poisoning art and philosophy, from Pythagoras to Heisenberg, and from Achilles to the Beach Boys. Modern art, especially modern poetry, is haunted by the figure of Field Marshal Sir General Reader, the media's universal strategist for inflicting war, viewing figures and sundry axes of nonsense upon the poetics of political dissonance. This figure is here banished along with the soldiers of the Holy Trinity. The stage is set for new figures to go forth and do something other than multiply.
Buy Go Figure book by Drew Milne from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(216mm x 140mm x 7mm)
Publisher: Salt Publishing
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Author Biography - Drew Milne
Drew Milne was born in Edinburgh, Scotland 1964. His books include Sheet Mettle (1994), How Peace Came (1994), Songbook (1996), Bench Marks (1998), As It Were (1998), familiars (1999), Pianola (2000) and The Gates of Gaza (2000). He has been a lecturer at the universities of Edinburgh and Sussex, and is the Judith E. Wilson Lecturer in Drama and Poetry, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge. He edits Parataxis Editions, and the journal Parataxis: modernism and modern writing.