Body Searches - Jon Ståle Ritland
Jon Ståle Ritland
Translated by Ida Bencke, Eirik Sördal & John Holten
Design: FUK Graphic Design Studio
19 x 24.5 cm, 54 pages,
Softcover with French Flaps
Jon Ståle Ritland shows from the very first letter that he is the master of the art of writing poetry one can’t get enough of…
– Arne Hugo Stølan, Verdens Gang newspaper
In a world of advancing science and an ever-greater understanding of the mysteries and machinations of the body, Ritland has updated in a breathtaking way the age old poetic quest of exploring the human experience through image and metaphor. As timeless as the initial impulses behind this collection may appear, the formal exigencies Ritland has employed makes for a contemporary poetics that points towards a new way of expressing the inner structures and forces in all of us.
Several processes of communication are continuously happening in the cells and organs of the body. Human language can be seen as a further development of these. Genetic material or DNA is a prerequisite for this internal communication. The four bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T) constitute what you might call the codes or the letters in the language of the genes. The sequence and composition of the letters are decisive for the synthesis of proteins and signal substances. The poems in Body Searches are inspired by the grammar of the genes and the structure of the DNA-molecule and they endeavor to try and unravel, in a new way, the old question: what is a human?
Broken Dimanche Press is proud to present Ritland’s first book in English translation and it marks a continued interest in how the phenomenological, organic and indeed the medicinal, can lead to an expanded corporeal poetics that views the body and its workings as an integral part of literature, both in its creation and reception.
To coincide with the publication, a website www.Bodysearches.com has been created; it comprises artwork made by Michiel Koelink and was designed by FUK Graphic Design Studio, Berlin who also designed the physical book. A public reading from the work, along with a screening of this artwork - which saw Koelink collaborate with the author on a 3D projection which implements ways of displaying poetry according to a genetic model of the DNA-molecule - will take place in Berlin on October 18, 2013 in Agora.
Jon Ståle Ritland (1968) was born in Drammen, Norway. He studied at the University of Oslo and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, specialising in Ophthalmology, and is currently working as an ophthalmologist in Ålesund. His doctoral thesis from 2008 was titled Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma & Exfoliative Glaucoma, Survival, Comorbidity and Genetics. His publications include the poetry collections Kroppsvisitasjoner [Body searches] (Aschehoug, 2004) and Vannmerker [Watermarks] (Aschehoug, 2009), and the essay Når det biokjemiske språk inntar litteraturens kropp [When Biochemical Language Enters the Body of Literature] (OEI, 2009).