I knew I had something I’d forgotten rolling around the back of my head and James Birdles’ Historiography of The Iraq War just reminded me what it was. A nod should also go to Don @ Carrying the Gun for his post Death Prose. If only I had a spare £250 quid laying around.
by Fiona Banner
It has been described as unreadable
The Nam is a 1000 page all text flick book. It is a compilation of total descriptions of well known Vietnam films, Full Metal Jacket, The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now!, Born on the Fourth of July, Hamburger Hill and Platoon. The films apparently never begin or end, but are described in their entirety, spliced together to make a gutting 11 hour supermovie.
Banner describes the films as if she is there, not influencing the plot, but always on set running alongside the action. The Nam is a constantly present, seamless account of the films. You might say that this book is the ultimate unedited text, a world in which nothing is prioritised, but everything. As you begin to know, you only see what you see.
‘…..read at a stretch, Banner’s simple, clear prose is hypnotic, and as exhausting as sitting through a Vietnam all-nighter. The text cascades in front of our eyes, melding and merging, and we read Banner’s commentary as she’s watching…’ Adrian Searle, Visual Arts, The Guardian, 22 April 1997.
Published in April 1997 by Frith Street Books and The Vanity Press with assistance from the Arts Council of England. The Nam is a 1000 page, 280,000 word hardback. Available from Frith Street Gallery, London at £250.00 and all leading bookshops in the UK and abroad.