Fainting with Freedom displays Ouyang Yu’s characteristic wrestlings with absurdity, the quotidian and the pain of history, while maintaining a distinctly different take on what constitutes ‘the self’. The poems shimmer with language-play—through slippages between English and Chinese, a more illuminating existential truth arises.
‘Why,’ asks Ouyang Yu in this stunning new collection, is fame ‘never associated with failure?’ From the great consensus challenger of our age, Fainting with Freedom skewers all the truisms we have been forced by culture to hold too dear, its language abundant with the honesty, percipience and pith we know to expect from this major writer.
Ouyang Yu has mellowed but is by no means tamed. Anger has given way to sadness, occasional bitterness, but also acceptance; his linguistic fireworks explode on the page. This collection cements Ouyang’s position as one of Australia’s most innovative poets.