Is it possible to archive the invisible symptoms of an illness? Is the archive emotional?
Emmalea Russo’s Wave Archive moves between essay and poetry while also pondering the mind-body connection and the unreliability of thought patterns and histories. Here, Russo invokes her own experiences with seizures, photographs and art-making, archival and indexical processes, brain waves, and the very personal need to document and store while simultaneously questioning the reliability of memory and language. Drawing upon the history of epilepsy in both ancient and modern brain treatments, Wave Archive disrupts and restores the archive over and over again, exploring the very edges of consciousness.
“Plumbing a myriad of archives both personal and historical, Emmalea Russo’s Wave Archive is an exploratory foray into the nature of the author’s living with and attending to epilepsy. The book is as various and hard to pin down as the condition it explores: part catalogue of the mind and its internal and external functioning; part meditation on the process of artistic creation; part disjunctive lyric essay; part poetic reckoning with the language of Owsei Temkin’s 1945 history of epilepsy, The Falling Sickness; and part inscrutable literary alchemy all its own, an attempt to “touch the space between interior and exterior.” The thinking throughout is restless, resists pat conclusions, revels in movement. “It is raw material / but it shouldn’t look like / raw material to be used / it should look already activated / but also, at the same time, sleepy.” Following her own alchemical logic, Russo has forged an intrepid compartment, “an archive for the changes of the waves of the brain.” This archive is wild.”
—Daniel Owen, author of Restaurant Samsara
“This beautiful book moves in a way I’ve never before experienced, transforming the reader through its pages. Wave Archive seeks to articulate the incomprehensible, invisible processes of epilepsy, of art-making, of how we categorize the world, suggesting these forces are connected in dazzling ways we’ve yet to comprehend. It is ambitious, pleasurable, and startlingly original.”
—Kate Durbin, author of E! Entertainment
“Moving seamlessly from the finely researched to the experiential, Wave Archive is precisely that, an accumulation of wave upon wave of Emmalea Russo’s thinking, being and responding through her researches upon and experiences around epilepsy.” —rob mclennan’s blog
Emmalea Russo is the author of G (Futurepoem) and Wave Archive (Book*hug). She was a writer in residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the 18th Street Arts Center (LA), and a visiting artist at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and Parsons School of Design. Recent writing has appeared in Artcritical, BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail, Cosmopolitan, Hyperallergic, and theLos Angeles Review of Books. Russo is a practicing astrologer and divides her time between Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ, and New York City.
October 29, 2019 | Hybrid: Essay/Poetry
5.75 x 8 inches | 163 pages
Trade Paper: 9781771665544
Book*hug Press wishes to acknowledge the land on which it operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.