A Salivating Monstrous Plant

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ISBN: 9780648056843

Series 2, book 8 of 10

A Salivating Monstrous Plant began as an exploration of violence present in the act of speaking, including attempts and refusal to speak. I'm interested in the body's movements and gestures, and the methods by which our voices are included in that mechanism. The question is: how can language and the body interact to extend beyond communication, verbal or otherwise? These metaphors are about conveying sensory experience rather than symbolism, and they operate by integrating metaphor with the body – be it writing of the body into metaphor, or embodying the poetics of physical movements. Might the body exist outside of its functionality, removed from practical movements?

I used parts of this work to create a performance piece inspired by Butoh, a Japanese expressionist dance that responds to constraints in the movements of other traditional dance forms. Many poems were rewritten to adjust the original performance script. Hopefully, neither body nor language is favoured, and physical experiences are incorporated into textual metaphor. This embodied language can then push against what we perceive as unspeakable, and if that should fail, if speaking appears impossible, perhaps something can still be achieved in the attempts to speak.

–Tanya Thaweeskulchai

Read Sean Pryor's introduction to A Salivating Monstrous Plant.