Salar Abdoh’s essay, “Lies, Fame, Memory, Illness, and the Theater of Reza Abdoh,” first appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review‘s Spring 2019 Special Issue on Iran. My brother, Reza, was always pissed off at me, as he often had to bail me out of tough situations.
On some days, the news informs me of a school shooting, and I drive blind. My brain fixates on the violence like a new romance.
When I look at Viking l’s panorama I have an eerie sense that this may be what the Earth looked like before the origin of life-an interesting, reworked, eroded, developed landscape, but one without the transmuting presence of biology.
I was literally looking at life from la margen (the bank, the shore). I have always wanted to use the feminine gender form of margin in Spanish, the irregular line where land meets water, rather than the masculine one, which is an irrevocably peripheral band of terrain, edges outside the body of words on a page.
No one these days can be unaware of the complex problems of water degradation, toxic waste, species extinction, soil and forest depletion, desertification, acid rain, and the “greenhouse” effect. As Rebecca Solnit has remarked, “the landscape itself is no longer an aesthetic refuge, but a battle ground.”