Speeches that George W. Bush made shortly after the 9/11 attacks, are turned into poetry in this book. The tone varies as we witness consolatory words and war speech. What does not change is the intensity of the rhetoric used.
The poems first appeared in the Dutch literary magazine Armada, tijdschrift voor wereldliteratuur, No. 24, December 2001.
The edition is printed on a paper that adds its own voice to the project in the form of a watermark. It reads “conqueror”, the brand name of the paper. Not only does that word seem to describe the voice in the book, it is also a description of itself; the watermark as a rhetoric, as a conquest.
The edition is limited to 124 numbered copies. Published in Leerdam, The Netherlands, September 2011.
Handbound, 15×21 cm, inkjet print, 16 pages. Priced at 18 euro, plus shipping.
The book is included in the collections of Albertina Bibliothek (Vienna), Bibliothèque Kandinsky (Centre Pompidou), the Brooklyn Museum, Kunstbibliothek (Berlin), MoMA Library, National Library of The Netherlands (Koninklijke Bibliotheek), The Poetry Library in London, and Tate Library and Archive.
Tonnard reduces these texts – eliminates the noise. She divides them into lines of poetry, arranging the words into strophes. She uses English words and somehow they also become a part of Dutch poetry. She unmasks this rhetoric in a subtle manner while at the same time acknowledging its value.
Johan Velter on the series as published in Armada in 2001 [translated by me, E.T]