Douglas Luman - Many of us know Marco Polo’s name and place in history, but The F Text complicates, reinvents, and reconstitutes what we know by breaking the received narrative open, and leaving stuttered lines and ample spaces in its place

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Douglas Luman, The F Text, Inside the Castle, 2017.


“Mapping the Silk Roads within us, Douglas Luman’s lapidary erasure of Marco Polo’s travels in their various literary iterations—from Rustichello da Pisa’s Medieval account to Italo Calvino’s postmodern rendition—is aflutter with “different flags / of an embroidered / glittering fringe.” Luman’s work deepens our understanding of history, interiority, and poetic making (as a form of unmaking) itself. “I have never seen and will never see / a fragment,” this voice testifies, amid the ruins. Wondrously, we emerge from Luman’s archaeology of civilizational disorders with a new sense of the imaginative constellations overhead: “The sky is filled with stars. There is / the blueprint.”” - Srikanth Reddy

“Many of us know Marco Polo’s name and place in history, but The F Text complicates, reinvents, and reconstitutes what we know—of the man himself and of the myth of human progress and discovery that surrounds him—by breaking the received narrative open, and leaving stuttered lines and ample spaces in its place. As “the outskirts of The question / begin to gnaw at / the answers,” the fragmented words, lines, images, and the strange new body they collectively build become the genuine discovery here. The F Text is a gorgeous, spare volume that shows how narrative, like “a Citie / it selfe / may be sundred, and taken downe like a Tent,” and how what rises in its place becomes a monument not to one man or to one version of human history, but to the shifting, mysterious nature of existence itself.” - Laura Sims

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