Jan Ramjerdi works in a nexus that connects, among other things, Gertrude Stein, hypertext, and the rhetoric of contemporary feminisms — all informed women’s experiences. What might in another writer be dogged honesty and modish postmodernism is in Ramjerdi’s fiction an absolutely incandescent and revelatory performance that goes beyond the transgressive and into a world where startling forms and intense feelings are in perfect union.
Jan E. Ramjerdi
RE.LA.VIR renders rape through the narrative filter of an online hypertext program. Juxtaposing savvy technical language and graphic scenes of sexual violence, the novel creates an alternative techno fictive space for representing lived experience.
The pages of RE.LA.VIR are the scrolling text of a computer screen, as transitory and erasable as the body of the raped woman. RE.LA.VIR reenvisions her, offering the female speaker a wider range of voices and positions to act from than is allowed in traditional rape narrative.
RE.LA.VIR is a fierce, gorgeous, even astonishing work that uses the languages of new technology and post-narrative fiction to create a novel so in league with the poetics of sexual preoccupation, and so physically luscious and advanced, it makes even the best of Acker, Guyotat, and Burroughs seem like Balzac.
Jan Ramjerdi’s RE.LA.VIR is a book whose innovative treatment of story, typography, and author/character relationship are used in the service of the unspeakable — in this case, the unspeakability of rape.