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TRANSISTOR

2021, Broadstone Books

The transistor, a tiny device capable of amplification and control, is the foundation of our digital world. Now comes “Transistor, who is sage, / and who is never seen despite the live feed”, to conduct us on a breathtaking journey through that world, in this audacious first full-length collection from Esteban Oloarte. “Transistor broadcasts traffic reports, / powers of suggestion, chances of allegory, / and everyone exits in headsets as exiles.” To read this book is to join that parade of exiles, to hitch a ride on an electron, flashing through the circuitry of modern life. Written in the shape of a bible, it is part prophesy, part wisdom literature, part jeremiad, with a bit of “Song of Solomon” eroticism for good measure, a secular sacred and profane text of social and cultural criticism. A set of “footnotes” run throughout the book like a plainsong chant, offering contrapuntal perspective from philosophers, academics, artists, and critics. More than anything, this is a celebration of the pure incantatory power of words, from a poet mad-drunk on language, a modern-day Delphic oracle. This is new, this is news, this is poetry like you haven’t read before, and won’t soon forget--Larry W. Moore

Transistor is a transition, a communication, a sending; it is the cool and sacred bond of everything that unites and uplifts us, but it is also the cause of an underlying and persistent dissent that remains between us and who we thought we were. Transistor veins out from body to body, city to city, each human act. As the new time is experienced as one of closure, a historical circle, Transistor recycles the biblical in format, semi-prophetic also occasionally in content, and attempts to extend itself into the everywhere and nowhere the new time has (s)placed us into. Transistor is cold, it is hungry, temptuous, perverted; seriously unserious and unforgiveably there, and it is now—Luis Villarreal Escandon

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