The Ubiquitous Big
You've heard of The Big Sleep, right? Well, it's a new century - time for The Ubiquitous Big. This book, the second from Calgary poet Ian Samuels, explores history as language, this time tackling mid-twentieth-century popular culture. With three sections of sly prose that are composed in 'mock narratives' of the very language they explore, readers follow the adventures of language that has passed through time and can now expose the myth of its own mythos.
Anyone with even a modest fetish for cultural icons from the 40s and 50s will love the way pulp fiction, fashion, media war coverage and movies are splintered and reconfigured in The Ubiquitous Big. Samuels reveals how timely that period was while he simultaneously exposes our present-day reliance upon these things as cultural and historical motifs. Samuels examines the past in order to ironically question 'what is now?'
The Ubiquitous Big imagines life in the age of hyper-modernity as a play with a splintered script and countless actors, its narratives unfolding against a backdrop of cultural obsessions with iconic celebrity, physical beauty, war and conquest. Built around helter-skelter transformations of found text, film-noir dialogue and overheard conversation, this is our world seen from atop a narrow ledge between horrified fascination and sardonic humour. The result is a book of playful poetry with a serious trigger finger.