DMZ Colony
Woven from poems, prose, photographs, and drawings, Don Mee Choi's DMZ Colony is a tour de force of personal and political reckoning set over eight acts. Evincing the power of translation as a poetic device to navigate historical and linguistic borders, it explores Edward Said's notion of "the intertwined and overlapping histories" in regards to South Korea and the United States through innovative deployments of voice, story, and poetics. Like its sister book, Hardly War, it holds history accountable, its very presence a resistance to empire and a hope in humankind.

DMZ Colony Details

TitleDMZ Colony
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 7th, 2020
PublisherWave Books
ISBN-139781940696966
Rating
GenrePoetry

DMZ Colony Review

  • Q
    January 1, 1970
    Stunningly powerful and harrowing book. Don Mee Choi has written a radical, complex collection of poetry that defiantly shouts out like an archive, like an interactive exhibition of witness. The hybrid book curates an innovative assemblage of forms and mediums: drawings, photographs, interviews, testimony, collage, black pages, prose-poems, diaries etc. Together these sections vitally map out "unspeakable orbits of torture and atrocities" in relationship to Korea's modern history of Japanese and Stunningly powerful and harrowing book. Don Mee Choi has written a radical, complex collection of poetry that defiantly shouts out like an archive, like an interactive exhibition of witness. The hybrid book curates an innovative assemblage of forms and mediums: drawings, photographs, interviews, testimony, collage, black pages, prose-poems, diaries etc. Together these sections vitally map out "unspeakable orbits of torture and atrocities" in relationship to Korea's modern history of Japanese and American occupation, political violence and uprising, civilian massacre, genocide and the Korean War. By exploring (anti)translation, the docupoetic language of this book aims to resists militarisation and colonisation: it provides a searching space to view translation as an anti-neocolonial mode, as a way of fighting borders, compelling disobedience. The book is wide in its scope and influences, by way of Choi's memories of migration as a commentary on contemporary America, or by way of Franz Kafka and Ingmar Bergman, in order to hold a bristling mirror onto ways of translating historical trauma, of "everything written upon the bodies."
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  • Chris Drew
    January 1, 1970
    It is hard to find the words to describe this book, and even harder to do so succinctly. I think I will need to return to it more than once more before I can do a just review, but I just finished it and am blown away again by Don Mee Choi's vision, ambition, and craft. Nothing about this book is easy or simple, but Choi skillfully pieces together words, images, texts, and memories with a preternatural skill for pacing, repetition, and juxtaposition that delivers maximum impact with grace and It is hard to find the words to describe this book, and even harder to do so succinctly. I think I will need to return to it more than once more before I can do a just review, but I just finished it and am blown away again by Don Mee Choi's vision, ambition, and craft. Nothing about this book is easy or simple, but Choi skillfully pieces together words, images, texts, and memories with a preternatural skill for pacing, repetition, and juxtaposition that delivers maximum impact with grace and exactness. Each word, letter, or image feels perfectly placed, and every aspect contributes to the whole. It builds and reflects and refrains, and compels reading and rereading. The themes and philosophies, of Korea, of the USA, of History, of Translation, of Ideology, of Colonialism and Neocolonialism, all flow with precise and seamless confidence, but with the detached (yet powerful) humility of the poet and translator as intermediary between the forces at hand. Don Mee Choi has her fingers on the pulse of so much and encapsulates it all so well in this one of a kind and wholly 21st century book. Do yourself a favor and read it.
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  • Jed
    January 1, 1970
    review @ChicagoRevBooks:https://chireviewofbooks.com/2020/05/...
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