Tony Lopez - False Memory


Tony Lopez - False Memory

Paperback, 136pp, 8.5x5.5ins

Download a PDF sampler from this book here.

2nd edition. With an introduction by Robert Hampson.

"[…] by far my favourite individual volume of poetry this year [was] Tony Lopez's False Memory, a series of sonnet sequences collaging and remixing the white noise of 1990s Britain into a disorienting, sometimes hilarious, often sinister, and always satirical challenge." —Robert Potts, The Guardian, 6 December 2003.

"Lopez's writing, more than ever, engages with dystopian anxiety the grievous fictions of contemporaneity — it is beset and irked by its inexhaustible material on every occasion, but by its denial to Lopez of his own voice, so fully has he read himself into and written himself out of it, genuine horror is forestalled." —Andrew Crozier, Jacket.

"Let a business document into your poem, and soon you've got the Shopping Channel, 'the LD50 on leakage projections', Steely Dan, haematology reports, the False Memory Society, 'a birth video onstage', futures markets, the M5, 'remote handling and core values', 'the hermeneutical sublime', direct sales marketing, self-help advice, personal ads, financial portfolios, million-dollar quiz-show questions, vacuum technology, 'day 107 of the Maxwell trial', and rote perky speeches of airline attendants all clamouring for equality with an allusion to Keats, Thoreau, Melville, Thomas Wyatt, or Cervantes. Every sonnet is a site of contentious speech, of dissociation, of bewildering or hilarious juxtaposition, where the conjunctions 'so', 'thus', 'and' and 'therefore' behave like jokers suggesting sly connections between non-sequiturs — 'The doctor had Mussolini's brain in a jar / And we have an artichoke bubbling on the stove'. Even on the level of the sentence, two or more disparate language systems, uneasily co-exist — 'How long have we poor shepherds lived and dreamed / Within these shady incremental pay-scales?'.

      The strategy can only be fidelity to the world of words in which we live, the vacuous and the fatuous and manipulative along with the subtle, the ironic, the musical, the unexpected, the beautiful." —Sara Lundquist, Poetry Review, 94, 1 (2004) 73–75.

"The pleasure of False Memory is its consistent wit — its challenge is that, in presenting back to us the world we live in, but making it newly strange, it makes no prescriptions of its own, and indeed can be read wholly pessimistically, from its first line ("And I don't see how we can win") to the defeat and irony readable in its last words. It may, alternatively, be read as an act of defiance, suggesting that an abused public language can be repossessed to some degree. Either way, it is a strikingly accomplished work of art." —Robert Potts, TLS, 2 January 2004.


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