Detour/Détours imagines debt as a language game: as a broken pun; a break in a journey; a play on value and the meaning of money as it changes hands. Or in terms of Guy Debord’s détournement—as a debt reimagined through the integration of old works into something new.
The word debtor owes etymologically to the old French deteur. But—moving into English—its first appearance dates back to the early 13th century and— sounded out as dettur, dettour or detour—debt can be read as an elaboration on the mottled intimations of a detour with a little poetic license. A detour is a deviation, a digression; a play on our various senses of direction. Exploring the will, want or need to take the long way around—and seeking to bastardize and scrutinize our relationship with (and conceptualization of) a statement of debt—here we have a set of searching works that critique all our methods of repayment. Participating authors were given free rein to produce a piece of writing in response to these ideas, and the works included herein—five first English-language translations and five original texts—wind their way around the weight of the word ‘debt’ in ten attempts to reroute its meaning.
Questions of Worth by Noémi Lefebvre, translated by Natascha Lasorak and Sophie Lewis
Silent B by Lauren Elkin
A Problem of the Greek Type by Mathieu Larnaudie, translated by Adrian Nathan West
Emotional Debt/Speed of Recovery Matrix by Selma Dabbagh
Debt Night by Preti Taneja
The Pastoral Calculation by Sandra Lucbert, translated by Jessica Spivey
The Debt Collector by Jen Calleja
Unknown Soldier by Nicolas Bouyssi, translated by Amanda DeMarco
Good Relations by Joanna Walsh
Out of Debt by Thomas Clerc, translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman
Edited by Emmanuel Bouju, Dominic Jaeckle & Cécile Menon
Limited Edition of 300 copies
180 x 120, paperback, 78 pages
rile* is a bookshop and project space for publication and performance. rile* is into poetry, theory, choreography, artist writing and various other text based experiments. rile* organizes performances, meetings, launches, readings... rile* is the base word for silence in Láadan, a feminist constructed language developed by Suzette Haden Elgin in 1982. The language was included in her science fiction Native Tongue series. Láadan contains a number of words that are used to make unambiguous statements that include how one feels about what one is saying. According to Elgin, this is designed to counter language's limitations to those who are forced to respond I know I said that, but I meant this.
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