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Caroline Dubois
You Are the Business

2008
translated from the French by Cole Swensen
Poetry, 104 pages, offset, smyth-sewn
ISBN 978-1-886224-86-5 original paperback $14

C’est toi le business uses an eerie cadence to examine the construction of identity in a media-saturated world. Focusing on icons of cult film from Simone Simon to Blade Runner, she develops a haunting collage of overlay and echo, populated by unsettling twins (a “sister,” a clone, a verbal stutter), that evokes the doubles with which a society based on representation invests us.

In “talala” for instance, the terms of identity taken from the film Blade Runner (human being vs. “fake” or “android”) are used to raise questions of authorship: do phrases come to us or do we make them, and if they come to us, then from where?

Always conscious of the role that language plays in the mediation between self and media, the book is poetry in its linguistic freedom, film criticism in its thematic aspects, prose in its physical shape. But it always pushes language toward new sensual territory.

Caroline Dubois lives in Paris and teaches at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Rueil-Malmaison. She has translated American poets like Norma Cole and Deborah Richards. C'est toi le business is her most recent book (2005). Earlier books include Je veux être physique [I want to be physical; P.O.L., 1999], Arrête maintenant [Stop now; Editions de l’Attente, 2001] and Malécot [Ed. contrat maint, 2003].

Cole Swensen’s recent books include The Book of a Hundred Hands (2005), The Glass Age (2007), Noon  Try, Oh, and Such Rich Hour. She has translated Pierre Alferi, Olivier Cadiot, Pascalle Monnier, Jean Frémon and others. Both her poetry and her translations have won many prizes