From poet-provocateur Moez Surani comes Operations—a book-length poetic inventory of contemporary rhetoric of violence and aggression, as depicted through the evolution of the language used to name the many military operations conducted by UN Member Nations since the organization’s inception in 1945.
With Operations, Surani draws on contemporary poetic traditions, including conceptual and inventory poetics, to accomplish two important things: On the one hand, he shows that no word is free from connoting violence, while on the other hand, he provokes readers to consider whether their personal values match the values of the military operation that are conducted by their countries.
By pulling military language away from euphemism—effectively, making it account for its doublespeaking ways—Operations gives voice to the many lives lost in conflicts around the world, in a volume that will speak equally to lovers of contemporary poetry, language, and linguistics, as to readers interested in politics, international relations, and public discourse.
Praise for Operations:"A vast, invisible network of information spiderwebs out from each code word; Surani challenges readers to consider the world beneath this language, and the human toll it both illuminates and obscures." —Lisa Aitken, Maisonneuve Magazine
"Stripping the language of military operations from the reality of their violence is both absurdly funny and darkly unsettling. Beneath it all hovers the nightmare of real violence, which these too-often-banal names try so hard to mask (such as the euphemism "Clean House"), but sometimes admit (the most honest title here might be the simple Killer)." —Jonathan Ball, Winnipeg Free Press