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Poetry. Reading travel literaturenot to mention postcards or emails from your friendswill never be the same after reading Ara Shirinyan's hilarious and sardonic YOUR COUNTRY IS GREAT: AFGHANISTAN-GUYANA. Proceeding alphabetically and hence giving equal time to nations as diverse as Belarus and Belgium, Cameroon and Canada, and splicing found text to produce capsule descriptions of one 'great' place to visit after another, Shirinyan exposes the fault lines of contemporary geopolitics with much wit and aplomb Marjorie Perloff.
Ara Shirinyan gives us an early glimpse at the deadening effects of globalization on language. Collapsing the space between the 'real world' and the World Wide Web, this book calls into question: What is local? What is national? What is multicultural? Instead of accepting current notions of language as a medium of differentiation, Shirinyan persuasively demonstrates its leveling quality, demolishing meaning into a puddle of platitudes. In a time when everything is great, yet nothing is great, you can almost hear Andy Warholthe king of blandness and neutralitysaying, 'Gee, this book is great.' Kenneth Goldsmith
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