This online edition of Memnoir, along with two earlier iterations and a translation, includes contextual resources curated by the author with the help of erica kaufman, Omar Berrada, and the Litmus editorial team. This digital edition also features a downloadable PDF of the primary text for those who would simply like to read it as originally printed, make a hard copy, or have access to the book offline.
Memnoir is a poetic labyrinth created out of curiosity and dread. Scene of the precarious equilibrium formed when a myth-filled present tense encounters long hidden truths. Truths that endure in memories inflected by film noir, family noir, playground noir, classical noir, racial noir. . . . composed with Retallack's redemptive asymmetries of gravitas and humor. A reader enters Memnoir, beginning with the vaudevillian repartee of Mem and Noir, continuing on with Curiosity as guide to encounters with Eurydice, Cervantes, Ovid, "God & AIDS . . . & Elephants & Castles & pop goes the weasel on the way home from school." (Snippets of science, philosophy and music intersect along the way.) Pages later, you will exit this puzzle with an odd set of instructions that (be warned) may or may not change your life.
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This material is intended for educational use only and may not be reprinted or republished for commercial distribution.
Earlier Versions and French TranslationCollection
About the AuthorCollection
2002 - Wild Honey Press Chapbook
2004 - French Translation of Memnoir
2004 - Memnoir review by Redell Olsen
2007 - Commentary on poetics of time in Memnoir by Sianne Ngai in "Ugly Feelings"
2007 - "What is Experimental Poetry & Why Do We Need It?" by Joan Retallack
2012 - "The Method 'In Medias Mess'" by Jena Osman. An essay on the poetics of Joan Retallack.
2020 - "On Joan Retallack’s Memnoir: Investigating ‘the Experience of Experiencing’" by erica kaufman
Cracker Jack Prize, "Suprise Inside", 1998
The Post-Apollo Press Edition, 2004
- by Joan Retallack
Memnoir is a high-speed chase through intersections of chance and consciousness in the “experience of experiencing” our lives. Movies and memory swap visceral/visual thrills with mathematics and philosophy as Retallack plays with our reliance on symbols and cultural frames of reference to get “to the point” of a given moment.Published
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