this is the fugitive is an essay in the form of a prose poem, an assay with the content of a reflection, an esse that is driven out but bending back. Through the lenses of Georg Büchner’s life and works (Woyzeck, Danton’s Death, etc.), it contemplates socio-political oppression and rebellion, government surveillance, violence (particularly against women and girls) and alienation. Pronouns rove among personas, including Büchner’s female characters and his fiancée Wilhelmine Jaeglé, in a triple exposure of childhood, teenhood and adulthood. The book’s girlish straying is an ethical and spiritual wrestling—an exploration of transience and transcendence, flight and fluid identities, melancholy and freedom. While staying vulnerable to the present, this is the fugitive strives for a fugitive poetics as a form of translit.
Proceeding through lines often as brief as tweets but with more depth of feeling and wit than entire poems, Misha Pam Dick’s this is the fugitive returns the brilliant, tormented German (proto-)Expressionist author and revolutionary Georg Büchner and his world to their place in our contemporary literary conversation. Dick’s text, as vertiginously fragmentary in form as Büchner’s oeuvre was in its totality, slides between the nineteenth century past and the present day experiences of queer romantic min(n)a, whose challenges rival those of the ill-fated protagonist of Woyzeck. Drawn with jagged lyricism, brimming with stirring images and wordplay, and a seminar room’s worth of philosophy and literary history, this is the fugitive is a gift that enchants even as it unsettles.
— John Keene
A fantasia. A keening of tell-lettres. A propulsive disquisition on how we sing now in historical seconds, between the moment and of its just passed (“if you are a young man who is black or named josef k”). In an imaginary fleet enough to flip past the appointed stations of a gloss: to trek star formations beyond Vians, Bergman, Spider-Man. In its own recursive compression accessed, brimming flashes, “not dramatic historical poetry,” nay, livened moments of the possible, taught, potent errs, in slips to “vent and invent,” make out in and out of meditation where (“i coulda been an intender”). One trans ideal is Büchner.
— Douglas A. Martin
Never have the trickster tendencies of Misha Pam Dick (aka Gregoire Pam Dick, Mina Pam Dick, et al.) been so brutally, arrestingly wielded as in this brilliant and sometimes hilarious essay (assay) that ≠ anything I’ve read before. ‘Intertextual avant la lettre’—recalling failure-courters from Kierkegaard to Markson while channeling Woyzeck—this is the fugitive traffics in the trans-lation and trans-substantiation of the introvert’s anxiety (‘neutrality is evil’; ‘I am dead and wish simply to be left alone in my caving-in’) contra the onslaught of (especially gender-based) violence past and present, fictive and real. We may have escaped the twentieth century and the centuries it fled, but, as for any fugitive, history remains like a haunting: here with appearances by ‘chelsee manning,’ the ‘egyptian’ military, tongue-kissing, multiple ‘karls,’ and a thoroughly, productively unstable ‘I.’
— Anna Moschovakis
Misha Pam Dick (aka Gregoire Pam Dick, Mina Pam Dick et al.) is the author of Metaphysical Licks and Delinquent. With Oana Avasilichioaei, she is the co-translator of Suzanne Leblanc’s The Thought House of Philippa. Also an artist, Dick lives in New York City, where she is currently doing work that runs away with Wedekind, Walser, and Michaux.