Review of I, the Worst of All in The Home Video Review of Books

I’m a bit late on this, but there’s a “review” of Estela Lamat’s I, the Worst of All in the most recent issue of the always compelling and intriguing The Home Video Review of Books, a journal run by Julia Cohen and Mathias Svalina which responds to books through the visual and auditory language of the You Tube clip. Here it is in its entirety (best viewed with full volume!):

I, of course, take this as a positive review — a comment on the book’s high-pitched intensity, on its extremity of emotion. Perhaps it’s a “translation” (a translation of a translation) of this poem from the first section:


Language is everywhere
but language is not a god
not even a god
but if
we are to say that it ecloses
its chrysalis is a mouth that screams
for the obstinate ones of cape and sword†
that insist on genealogies
language does have a father
or a mother
we will thus say
language is born from a scream.

† [Translator’s note: The so-called cape-and-sword plays (comedias de capa y espada) were a popular genre during the Spanish Golden Age. The name derives from the cloaks and swords worn by the drama’s aristocratic characters.]

Thanks to Julia and Mathias for the treatment!

Here’s the issue’s full line-up:

Reviews of
Man’s Companions, by Joanna Ruocco
I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl, by Karyna McGlynn
Duties of an English Foreign Secretary, by Macgregor Card
The Wild Hawk the Sea, by Seth Landman
Neighbor, by Rachel Levitsky
(Ir)Rational Animals, by Steven Karl
I, the Worst of All, by Estela Lamat, Trans. by Michael Leong
Elegy for a Fabulous World, by Alta Ifland
Life of a Star, by Jane Unrue
Bee-Stung Aviary, by Eric Baus
One Day There Will Be Nothing to Show that We Were Ever Here, by Scott Alexander Jones
The Plot Genie, by Gillian Conoley
Minimum Heroic, by Christopher Salerno
Mr. Worthington’s Beautiful Experiments on Splashes, by Genine Lentine

~ by Michael Leong on June 17, 2010.

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