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Ringed by Language. And Yet.
About the Book:
An unexpected chronicle of heart failure. Prose. Memoir. Essay. Other. This book is a thickness. A lure. Its pages an attempt to reach a body at the moment of invasion. Reduction. Accrual.
Heart failure is a compression that folds in many durations. Perhaps for this reason and for the layering of year upon year, Justy Phillips had not, until now, known how to speak about its entanglement in the quiet and gradual violence of childhood sexual trauma.
“No doubt my whole life, my work as an artist, and its ways of making-public what we cannot see, has been its own process of recovery. And now, through this failing body, this book—part creature, part ocean, part wet lungs and air—I have found a way to inhabit the limits of what is held. Perhaps only as a way to make room for what will surely follow. Inundate. Collapse.
Without this particular heart, shimmering as it is, it is unlikely I could have written the other, paralysed, hollow muscular organ of the past. It is clear to me now that they are not two separate things, these durations, but the ongoing event of one intelligent, fizzing world. In the midst of such entanglements, questions of duration begin to take hold: Where do failures of the heart begin? How do they move? Accumulate, mutate, oscillate back and forth between us? These faltering organs.
It is terrifying. And yet so important to bring into language such things.”
About the Author:
Justy Phillips is an artist, writer and publisher who lives and works on the banks of timtumili minanya/ River Derwent in nipaluna/ Hobart, lutruwita/Tasmania. She is co-founder with Margaret Woodward of A Published Event, making long-term relational artworks through shared acts of public telling. Exploring chance encounter, constructed situations and the shared authorship of lived experience, Phillips works with artists and writers, materials and ideas, writing, prose, book-works and performance. In 2019, Justy was awarded the Ruth Stephan Fellowship at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University. Her publication Fall of the Derwent was long-listed in the 2017 Premier’s Literary Awards, Tasmania, Australia.