Synopses & Reviews
At nearly 400 pages in length, Lip Service is Bruce Andrews' major poetry work of the 1990s. The book is divided into ten 'planets' corresponding to the ten 'bodies' of the Paradiso, each of which is in turn divided into ten sections. Andrews draws on resonances between the semiotic rubble of late capitalist society (overheard or found phrases and words gathered over a four-year period, then meticulously organized and edited) and Charles Singleton's translation of Dante to create a bleak vision of a contemporary world where vanity and self-regard are paramount, love is nothing but pretense and dissimulation, and mutability and immutability are inverted.
Poetry. "Bruce Andrews is a performance artist and poet whose texts are some of the most radical of the Language school...Small linguistic units, idioms, phrases and single words, taken from different, sometimes mutually exclusive registers, especially discourses which are socially sensitive and resonant to contemporary ears, enable the poetry to 'suggest a social undecidability.' LIP SERVICE, the long-awaited long poem sequel to SHUT UP, reminds us to 'accept no discourse except love's'" - Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Literature in English. Among the titles by Bruce Andrews still available from SPD are I DON'T HAVE ANY PAPER SO SHUT Up and PARADISE AND METHOD.