All 3 entries tagged Modernism

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October 20, 2010

On Posterity and Cultural Conservatism

Writing about web page

"In cultural terms, we live in deeply conservative times. Editors at several major publishing houses have to run novels' synopses past reader focus groups before being allowed to publish them; "literary" festivals feature newsreaders and other media personalities. We shouldn't imagine, though, that things were that different in the golden age of modernism. Ulysses was printed, in 1922, on a small, private press in Paris, in a run of 1,000; Kafka's Metamorphosis, on its small-press publication in 1915, sold 11 copies – of which 10 were bought by Kafka. Yet can anyone, now, name the successful middlebrow writers of 1922 or 1915? Of course not."

(Tom McCarthy, reviewing Gabriel Josipovici's What Ever Happened to Modernism? for the Guardian.)

What the fuck is a reader focus group?

How do I get onto one?

May 15, 2009

Marjorie Perloff Research Seminar

All staff members and graduate students are warmly invited to the

Next Research Seminar

Professor Marjorie Perloff

“Linguistic Immigration: Towards a Translational Poetics”

in H545, 12pm Wednesday 20th May

Light refreshments will be provided

Marjorie Perloff is Sadie Dernham Patek Professor Emerita of Humanities at Stanford University, and a leading scholar and critic of modern and contemporary poetry.  Among her many books are Frank O'Hara:  Poet Among the Painters, The Poetics of Indeterminacy:  Rimbaud to Cage, The Dance of the Intellect:  Studies in the Poetry of the Pound Tradition, The Futurist Moment:  Avant-Garde, Avant Guerre, and the Language of Rupture, Wittgenstein's Ladder:  Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary,and Differentials:  Poetry, Poetics, Pedagogy


Repeat after me: WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO.

Marjorie was a major influence on my undergraduate and postgraduate days, and still is. She's a wonderful thinker, extremely open-minded, a great analyst of modernist movements and its contemporary manifestations.

She has been in the UK for the Weidenfeld Lecture series at St Anne's College, Oxford. I've not yet managed to clear space in the diary to get to any of them, but I'm hoping they will feature online somewhere.

Perhaps at her UPenn page, where there's already a fantastic wealth of essays, information and even links to some sound recordings.

January 30, 2008

Regenerating L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E

Writing about web page

"The Renaissance DIALOGUE was practiced in meetings of writers, artists and scientists in an attempt to create a humanist world.

"For example in remote places in the Toscana in Italy, and besides drinking, eating and making love, they engaged in controversial discussions about everything, and were completely satisfied with a situation that did not aim at achieving a consensus about ideas, issues and theories. Everything was open for discussion, and through this openness, a temporary closeness could exist, but not vice versa. They produced no closed and thus restricted systems – they were the outsiders – but at the same time practices in a system – being insiders – but of a special kind. But there was a rule: one person present was chosen and had to remain sober in order to write the protocol of the dialogues – as did the individuals who chose to write the protocol of Dambudzo’s dialogues. This chosen writer produced a system which could only be a glimpse of the non-system as dialogue, but should be seen to be just as polyvalent and multivocal as the DIALOGUE itself. Thus the DIALOGUE is both the condition of art – as non-system and of science – as system. Today we see a dialogue as a condition of postmodernism."

L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E is useless without a social context; hence:

"L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E P=O=E=T=R=Y was not simply a movement to bring renewed interest to language, but to the structures and codes of language: how ideas are represented and formulated to transmit ideas, thoughts, and meaning...

"L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E P=O=E=T=R=Y also recognized that language is political. In the same way that American farmers hid behind tree trunks and took pop shots at British soldiers who stood in formation in open fields during the revolutionary war, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E P=O=E=T=S fractured the language in an attempt to wage their own rebellious assault against the social and political structure inherent in the Imperial force of the English language. In doing this, the entire reading process was overhauled, with the reader of this type of poetry forever changed in the way that he or she encounters text of any type." (source)

Hence Dambudzo Marechera. A D=I=A=L=O=G=U=E P=O=E=T.

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