Female Body Retold
Countercharming Matt Walsh’s Black Magic Question:
‘What Is A Woman?’
ISBN 978-1-959556-87-9 94 pages $17.00
Female Body Retold by Giorgia Pavlidou is an anchor—imperfect, yes, but there nonetheless—thrown into the chaos we live in. It doesn’t matter if that chaos comes from identity politics and the ephemeral arguments they provoke or the more pressing invasion of human space by digital technologies masquerading as thought and, with robots, as body; to keep us well sexualized (though onanism, no matter how mediated, goes only so far)—themes that Giorgia explores. Nor does it matter that we seem to have lost some essential sense of how poetry, understood not as craft but as the superior principle of language, works its magic. Thankfully, Giorgia does; this book its evidence. Where “cobalt impostors—as annihilative raconteurs—always operate in secret,” Giorgia is there to contest them. Where “in post modernity ... the dying live eternities/and the living yearn to die,” she’s dancing, with language her music, phonemic to be sure. She has avatars—who doesn’t?—with whom she talks now and then: Laura Riding, Mina Loy, Rochelle Owens, and Philip Lamantia. Are they a chorus to this book, too? Implicitly perhaps. But I’d bet they’d be happy to read Giorgia’s retelling; its magnet—this female body that inspires, eludes, and elides all too many of us. Interested? Here is Female Body Retold …
Louis Aragon, one of the original Surrealists, wrote: “Reality is the apparent absence of contradiction. The marvelous is the eruption of contradiction within the real.” Giorgia Pavlidou’s poetry is eruptive in just this way. She uses contradiction, including a savage yet ultimately humane perversity, as a catapult to smash open accepted dichotomies and examine their contents with a critical and sometimes derisive eye. To this work she brings a wide multilingual erudition, including Greek and Sanskrit language and mythology. Formally straightforward, her writing is imaginatively and intellectually intricate and playful, with a queer/feminist impetus. She has her fellow travelers, like Will Alexander, and her foremothers, like Joyce Mansour. But as a poet she is uniquely herself, unlocking a new door to the marvelous.
Giorgia Pavlidou is a Greek-born American writer who has lived in California, the Benelux and India. She received her MA in Urdu Literature from Lucknow University, India, and her MFA from the Manchester School of Writing, UK. Her work recently appeared or is forthcoming in Caesura, Maintenant Dada Journal, Puerto del Sol, Clockwise Cat, Ocotillo Review, Philosophical Egg, Live Mag!, Al-Khemia Journal, Entropy and Moon & Sun Magazine. Additionally, Trainwreck Press launched her chapbook ‘inside the black hornet’s mind-tunnel’ in 2021, and Anvil Tongue Books her full-length book of poems and paintings, ‘Haunted by the Living - Fed by the Dead’ in May 2022. Originally trained in psychoanalytic and systemic psychotherapy, Giorgia practiced her profession for about ten years.