Basta (aklatambayan Series)
|Dimension||5 x 7|
What kind of redemption can a human being afford to imagine after the world has made its disfiguring purchase on him? Allan Popa's seventh book, Basta, is a work of clarity and stunning vision, and it is a vision that terrifies. Exiled from what makes him human, long subject to and of indignities, man is tethered back to his compulsions and is complicit. It is a complicity that contaminates every redemptive act, the sublimation of our impulses and sufferings, so that mortification of the flesh verges on its pornographic violation. The flagellating figure in the collection, the savior as sinner (and vice versa), may very well be a voyeur and an oppressor in his communion with the forsaken. Popa's skill in his latest collection is exhilarating in its masterful handling of such a large and difficult theme. But it is an exhilaration that offers little consolation. Basta doesn't spare us the torment and the danger that attends knowledge of this civilization and the self that is its own making. It is an elegant collection, remorseless in its intelligence, and our pleasure at the finesse and audacity of its making disturbs. At once penetrating and profound, the poems become the lacerating medium into this world we inhabit, so that the creative act is implicated in the abominable. –Mabi David
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