The Danger Model
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Is the self inside the body / or is it the body / or can it leave? "How can you ask a question that you live inside?" Madelaine Caritas Longman's debut is an affecting, intelligent engagement with the often-paradoxical pursuit of self-coherence and self-presence. These prose poems, haiku, and experiments with language and form not only examine the individual search for identity but call into question the concept itself. Inhabiting contexts as diverse as the medical system, performance art, queer adolescence, and Talmudic debate, The Danger Model considers what it means to be a "self." Searching for answers in Internet forums, the work of Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, and the films and installations of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, Longman brings attention to the lived experience of mental and physical illness and attempts to make meaning out of it. Disarmingly candid, intellectually rigorous, and surprisingly funny, these poems explore the luxury and burden of subjectivity by showing us what it is like to struggle to attach oneself to the world through specific desires and needs. Provocatively realistic but also hopeful, The Danger Model is an investigation of how we come to recognize - or not recognize - ourselves and each other.