English 795 / Comparative Literature 795
Poetry and Ideology: The Aesthetics of Resistance and Complicity
Charles Bernstein <charles.bernstein at english.upenn.edu>
Thursdays 7-10, FBH 222, Fall 2009
syllabus begins here
“… we attain to but brief and indeterminate glimpses.” [E. A. Poe, The Poetic Principle]
“But the world will never weary of watching that troubled soul in its progress from darkness to darkness.” [Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist]
Post responses each week to the class listserve
Required Books at
Penn Book Center:
The Politics of Poetic Form, ed. Bernstein (1990)
Kelly Writers House:
Al Filreis, Counter-Revolution of the Word, at a discount
Used or new on-line::
John Berger, Ways of Seeing
Erving Goffman, Frame Analysis
George Lakoff , Moral Politics: What Conservatives Know That Liberals (1st edn. fine)
Jerome McGann, Romantic Ideology
Jerome Rothenberg, Poetics and Polemics: 1980-2005 : I will email about getting this book.
Note: I am also teaching English 288 this semester; please make note of the syllabus.
The Logos is eternal
but men have not heard it
and men have heard it and not understood.
Through the Logos all things are understood
yet men do not understand
as you shall see when you put acts and words to the test I am going to propose:
One must talk about everything according to its nature,
how it comes to be and how it grows.
Men have talked about the world without paying attention
to the world or to their own minds,
as if they were asleep or absent-minded.
—Heraklitus (tr. Davenport)
1. (Sept. 10): Introduction: Word views & the Aesthetics of Idelogy
"There an hour to come," said he, "when all of us shall cast aside our veils. Take it not amiss, beloved friend, if I wear this piece of crape till then." ...
"Why you tremble at me alone?" cried he, turning his veiled face round the circle of pale spectators. "Tremble also at each other! Have men avoided me, and women shown no pity, and children screamed and fled, only for my black veil? What, but the mystery which it obscurely typifies, has made this piece of crape so awful? When the friend shows his inmost heart to his friend; the lover to his best beloved; when man does not vainly shrink from the eye of his Creator, loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin; then deem me a monster, for the symbol beneath which I have lived, and die! I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a Black Veil!"
2. (Sept. 17) Prologue: Intimations of Ideology (Word views, belief systems, alienation, and the veil of history)
Sappho, fragment 16 (c. 600 BCE)
Heraklitus (pdf) (c. 500 BCE) (Guy Davenport translation); gloss. See also Heraclitus web (with John Burnet tr.); G.W.T. Patrick tr. 1889 bilingual with sources; William Harris tr. [Response: Sessions]
Descartes: Discourse on Method Part IV (1637) & Meditations I & II (1642)
BLAKE: Mind-forg'd manacles and the Fall.
Blake: Songs of Innocence (1789) and Experience (1794), esp:
Innocence: Introduction, The Shepherd, Lamb, The Chimney Sweep, The Divine Image, Nurse's Song [Response: Fedors]
Experience; Introduction, Nurse's Song, The Sick Rose, The Garden of Love, London, The Human Abstract
___ Grey Monk
___ Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Proverbs of Hell(1790)
___ Jerusalem (1804, preface to Milton)
Ault on Blake see recommended pages from Narrative Unbouond below.
Edgar Allen Poe, "The Poetic Principle" (1850)
_____, The System Dr. Tarr & Prof. Fether (1845)
Nathaniel Hawthorne, in Twice Told Tales (1851)
"Minister’s Black Veil" (p. 44) [Response: Wong]
_______"Wakefield." (p. 142)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract (1762)
Swinburne, William Blake: A Critical Essay, (1868)
Donald Ault: Visionary Physics: Blakes' Response to Newton (full text on-line) and Narrative Unbound: Re-Visioning William Blake's The Four Zoas (full text on-line; see esp. pp.xi-xv 3-6 (afterword separately on-line)
Melville, "Bartleby, the Scrivener" (1853) [Response Henze-Gongola]
Thomas McEvilley, The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies (New York, 2002) and Sappho (New York, 2007)
"In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, -- no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, -- my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, -- all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God." -- Emerson, "Nature"
3. (Sept. 23) Emerson, Dickinson, Whitman: Serliality, Versions, & Aversion of Closure (Say, Do You Contract Youself?)
Emerson, The American Scholar (1837)
Emerson, The Poet (1841-43)
Emily Dickinson: "World Is not Conclusion" and "A Certain Slant of Light" (1866-67): [Response: Sparks, Seguy]
Whitman, "Respondez" (1867 version of "Poem of the Propositions of Nakednes" in the 1856 Leaves of Grass) [Response Paris]
Emerson, Experience (1844) [Response Alpert]
Emerson, Self-Reliance (1841)
Stanley Cavell, This New Yet Unapproachable America [Response: Laynor]
Susan Howe, "These Flames and Generosities of the Heart: Emily Dickinson and the The Illogic of Sumptuary Values" from The Birth-Mark [Response: Corrigan]
Howe's essay in The Politics of Poetic Form
Howe's My Emily Dickinson
Marta Werner's "Radical "Scatters"; Dickinson fragments web site
Jerome McGann, A Critique of Modern Texutal Criticm
Walter Benn Michaels, The Shape of the Signiifier (sections on Howe's "Sumptuary Values")
Tenney Nathanson, Whitman's Presence
Michael Magee, Emancipating Pragmatism: Emerson, Jazz, and Experimental Writing
Richard Deming, Listening on All Sides: Toward an Emersonian Ethics of Reading
On seriality vs sequence: Joseph Conte, Unending Design: The Forms of Postmodern Poetry
"The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and size. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. The devaluation of the world of men is in direct proportion to the increasing value of the world of things. Labor produces not only commodities; it produces itself and the worker as a commodity – and this at the same rate at which it produces commodities in general.... This fact expresses merely that the object which labor produces – labor’s product – confronts it as something alien, as a power independent of the producer. The product of labor is labor which has been embodied in an object, which has become material: it is the objectification of labor. Labor’s realization is its objectification. Under these economic conditions this realization of labor appears as loss of realization for the workers; objectification as loss of the object and bondage to it; appropriation as estrangement, as alienation.... In estranging from man (1) nature, and (2) himself, his own active functions, his life activity, estranged labor estranges the species from man. It changes for him the life of the species into a means of individual life. First it estranges the life of the species and individual life, and secondly it makes individual life in its abstract form the purpose of the life of the species, likewise in its abstract and estranged form."
—Marx, Economic and Social Manuscripts (1844)
4. (October 1) What Is Ideology and What Is to Be Done about It? ("Idols," "False Conciouness," and the Young Hegelians in Us)
John Thompson, "Theories of Ideology and Methods of Discource Analysis, from Studies in the Theory of IdeologyB
Louis Althusser,_from "Ideological State Apparatus" (ISA)[excerpt] & full essay; full essay public web version
Raymond Williams, "Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory"
Michel Foucault, from Power-Knolwegde
Frederic Jameson Political-Unconscious-ch1 [Response Paris]
Simon Jarvis, on Ideology from Wordsworth's Philosophic Song [Response Paetsh]
Further reading: Marx, The German Ideology (1845)
Marx, Economic and Social Manuscripts (1844)
J. J. Lecercle, A Marxist Philosophy of Language
"The Bitter Pill of Theory":
Bernstein response to seminar #4 (10/3/09)
5. (October 8) Jerome Rothenberg: The Revolution of the Word.
Class visit by Rothenberg and Jeffrey C. Robinson.
Weds. October 7: Two events for Poems for Millennium, Volume Three: The University of California Book of Romantic & Postromantic Poetry
5pm: A Panel on with editors Jerome Rothenberg and Jeffrey Robinson, Michael Gamer (Penn), Esther Schor (Princeton); Charles Bernstein, chair. Reception follows.
7:15: A reading from PM3. Editors Rothenberg and Robinson, are joined by Bob Perelman, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, George Economou, Rochelle Owens, and Bernstein.
Rothenberg's Poetics and Polemics: 1980-2005
Jed Rasula on Rothenberg (Gale) [Response: Lorange]
at PennSound, including LINEbreak
Rothenberg essay in The Politics of Poetic Form [Response: Maney]
The Burning Babe & Other Poems, with poems by Jerome Rothenberg (Granary Books, 2005): complete book (pdf)
My Preface to Rothenberg's Triptych
RainTaxi interview (2009)
Further Reading (optional!):
Rothenberg, Triptych (available at bookstore)
Jeffrey Robinson (who will be sitting in on the seminar):
Unfettering Poetry: The Fancy and British Romanticism. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006: Response: Paris on Fancy/Imagination in Robinson.
Reception and Poetics in Keats: My Ended Poet. Macmillan (UK) and St. Martin's Press (USA), 1998
Romantic Presences. Station Hill Press, 1995
The Current of Romantic Passion. Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1991.
Carla Billitteri, Language and the Renewal of Society in Walt Whitman, Laura (Riding) Jackson, and Charles Olson: The American Cratylus
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009
Gregory Nagy, Poetry as Performance
Eric Havelock, How the Muse Learned to Write
Oct. 13 at 6pm at KWH, Brazillian poet Régis Bonvicino, which I will be hosting.
6 (0ct. 15). Art and Ideology, with special reference to Romantic Ideology
Jerome McGann, Romantic Ideology
McGann in The Politics of Poetic Form [Response Senol]
V.N. Volosinov / MikhailBakhtin, "Discourse in Life and Discourse in Art (Concerning Sociological Poetics) (1926) [Response: Niles]
Kenneth Burke,_"Litearture as Equipment For Living" from Philosophy of Literary Form (1939 [Response Snelson (A)]
Ferruccio Rossi-Landi, from Language as Work and Trade [Il linguaggio come lavoro e come mercato (1968)]; Rossi-Landi web site
Antony Easthope, from Poetry as Discourse (1983); another excerpt [Response Paetsch]
See also (optional / further reading):
Andre Breton and Leon Trotsky, “Manifesto: Towards a Free Revolutionary Art” (1938) [Response: Lavery]
Theodor Adorno, The Culture Industry, Negative Dialectics, Aesthetic Theory [Response: Price & Neuman]
Adorno, from two essays on Poetry and Society (mid-1950s)
Adorno, Aesthetic Thoery
Aesthetics and Politics: Debates Between Bloch, Lukacs, Brecht, Benjamin, Adorno (New Left Books, 1980)
Pierre Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production [Response: Snelson (B)]
Susan Stewart, Poetry and the Fate of the Senses
Bernstein on McGann
7. (Oct. 22). Al Filreis class visit: Class will meet at KWH, 2d floor seminar room.
Note: Rae Armantrout reading at Kelly Writers House at 6pm, just before the seminar. We have set this up so you can hear Armantrout, get something at the reception, and then attend the seminar upstairs.
Filreis, Counter-Revolution of the Word
my review from Boston Review
review of Counter-Revolution of the Word: pdf
Supplement: The Neoliberal Imagination:
What Is a Poet?: Final panel discussion
D.W. Fenza, AWP Chronicle --Words&Bees_(2006) [Fenza is the Executive Director of the Associated Writng Programs, the major organization of CW programs in the U.S.]
Cole Swenson, Introduction to Hybrid anthology [Response: Paeth]
Johannes Goransson on American Hybrid anthology
Supplemental Reading (a New York Times case file)
Jed Rasula's American Poetry Wax Museum: Reality Effects 1910-1940
[Response: Laynor & Davisson]
Tues., Oct 27: Robert Grenier reading/performance/slide show at 6pm at KHW. We discuss Grenier Nov. 19
8 (Oct 29). Speaking Truth to Truth: The Critique of Technorationality and Dialogic Imagination (Or, Positivism's Discontents)
Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations (1945): §§1-46, §§89-134, §§203-360; part 2: iv (p. 178), vii (p. 184), x-xi (pp. 190-229) [Response: Niles]
Thomas Kuhn, postscript to Structures of Scientific Revolution (1962) Kuhn key word: paradigm shift, incommensurability, normal science. Kuhn made EZ & wiki [Response: Senol]
Jurgen Habermas, Knowledge and Human Interest (1968): summary
from chapter 3: The Idea of the Theory of Knowledge as Social Theory
chapters 6 & 8: Pragmatist & Historicist Critique of Meaning (Peirce, Dilthey)
chapters 10 & 12 : Freud & Self-Reflection, Nietzsche
[Response: Davis on Heine and Romanticims]
Wittgenstein, On Fraser's Golden Bough [Response Alpert]
The Treaty of Waitangi; D.F.McKenzie, Oral Culture, Literacy and Print: Early New Zealand: The Treaty of Waitangi (Victoria University Press/Turnbull Library, 1985).
Peter Winch,The Idea of a Social Science
Habermas: Nietzsche, Peirce, Freud, in Knowledge and Human Interest, inter alia
Habermas, Technology and Science as Ideology (1968)
Adorno/Horkheimer, The Dialectic Imagination
cf.: Herbert Marcuse, Agnes Heller, Hannah Arendt
The works of Paul Feyderabend [Response: Lozange]
Einstein, Special Theory of Relativity (1905) [Response: Lozange]
Freud, "A Note upon Mystic Writing Pad" (1925)
Weds. Nov. 4 at 6, Rosmaire and Keith Waldrop, poetry reading, KWH Arts Cafe
"Patterns that Matter"
Bernstein response to seminar 8 (10/31/09)
"This is why I consider that it is not useful to make a distinction between political and non-political art. From the point of view of the theory of hegemony, artistic practices play a role in the constitution and maintenance of a given symbolic order or in its challenging and this is why they necessarily have a political dimension." -- Chantal Mouffe, 2007
The most interesting and difficult part of any cultural analysis, in complex societies, is that which seeks to grasp the hegemonic in its active and formative but also its transformational processes. Works of art, by their substantial and general character, are often especially important as sources of this complex evidence.… It can be persuasively argued that all or nearly all initiatives and contributions, even when they take on manifestly alternative or oppositional forms, are in practice tied to the hegemonic: that the dominant culture, so to say, at once produces and limits its own forms of counter-culture. … But there is evident variation in specific kinds of social order and in the character of the consequent alternative and oppositional formations. It would be wrong to overlook the importance of works and ideas which, while clearly affected by hegemonic limits and pressures, are at least in part significant breaks beyond them, which may again in part be neutralized, reduced, or incorporated, but which in their most active elements nevertheless come through, as independent and original. --Raymond Williams, "Hegemony"
9 (Nov. 5) Language, Class, Gender, Education
Gramsci (1891-1937) Keywords: Hegemony (from egemonia and cf: counter-hegemony); subaltern: see Prison Notebooks 3rd Ntbk, §90 (vol. 2, p. 91); & 8th Ntbk, §153 (vol. 3, p. 321) & §205 (p. 353) ) and see also Raymond Williams's discussion (ch. 6).
Basil Bernstein, Class, Codes, and Control (1971) 1
Basil Bernstein, Class Codes, and Control (1971) 2
Wiki summary [Response: Seguy, Paeth]
Jan Mukarovsky, "Standard Language and Poetic Language" [Response Paetsch]
Chantal Mouffe, "Hegemony and New Political Subjects: Toward a New Concept of Democracy" (c. mid-80s) &/or Artistic Acticivism and Agonisitc Spaces (2007) [Response Alpert]
Rosmarie Waldrop: Reproduction of Profile (1987) [Response Snelson]
Nicole Brossard essay in Politics of Poetic Form [Response: Price]
Piere Bourdieu, "The Production and Reproduction of Legitimate Language" from Language and Symbolic Power (1991) [Response Henze-Gongola]
Luce Irigaray, "Linguistic Sexes and Gender" from je, tu, nous (1990, tr. 1993) [Response: Corrigan & EtShalom]
Rosmarie Waldrop and Nathaniel Mackey essay in Politcs of Poetic Form
Raymond Williams, from Marxism and Literature: see eg ch. 6 on "Hegemony" and also the whole "Cultural" section excerpted here.
Mouffe, 2006 interview
Rousseau, Emile, The Social Contract
Francisco Ferrer, The Origin and Ideals of the Modern School
Antonio Gramsci, The Priison Notebooks
____ Southern Question
Perry Anderson, "The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci" from New Left Review 100 (1976) (on AG's concept of hegemony); see also gloss at Emory's postcolonial site
Alvin Gouldner on "The Culture of Critical Discourse" from The Future of Intellectuals and the Rise of the New Class: A Frame of Reference, Theses, Conjectures, Arguments, and an Historical Perspective on the Role of Intellectuals and Intelligentsia in the International Class Contest of the Modern Era (New York: Seabury Press, 1979)
Tony Crowley, Standard English & the Politics of Language (1989)
[added 11/7 and also to week 12]:
Steve McCaffery, translation of "The Communist Manifesto" into West Riding of Yorkshire dialect: audio, text
Monique Wittig ("Le Corps Lesbien") in French original. (See Butler's Gender Trouble pp. 28-29 for discussion of Wittig's "Mark of Gender."
"We may suppose him, as the result of deep deliberation, buying a new wig, of reddish hair, and selecting sundry garments, in a fashion unlike his customary suit of brown, from a Jew's old-clothes bag. It is accomplished. Wakefield is another man. The new system being now established, a retrograde movement to the old would be almost as difficult as the step that placed him in his unparalleled position. ... Would that I had a folio to write, instead of an article of a dozen pages! Then might I exemplify how an influence, beyond our control, lays its strong hand on every deed which we do, and weaves its consequences into an iron tissue of necessity. Wakefield is spell-bound " --Hawthorne, "Wakefield" (1851)
"It is, therefore, the task of history, once the other-world of truth has vanished, to establish the truth of this world. It is the immediate task of philosophy, which is in the service of history, to unmask self-estrangement in its unholy forms once the holy form of human self-estrangement has been unmasked. Thus, the criticism of Heaven turns into the criticism of Earth, the criticism of religion into the criticism of law, and the criticism of theology into the criticism of politics." -- Marx, "A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right" (1843/1844) [tr.Annette Jolin and Joseph O’Malley]
Tues., Nov. 10
11am: KWH: Dmitri Golynko, Russian Poet, reading and interview (taped for Close Listening series)
4pm: Cohen 402: tribute to Alexie Parshchikov
with Dmitry Golynko, John High, Eugene Ostashevsky, Bob Perelman, Ron Silliman, Charles Bernstein, and Andrew Wachtel. Kevin M. F. Platt will moderate
10 (Nov. 12). Frame Analysis
[N.B. heldover: Snelson on Waldrop and Price on Brossard; review their posts; Paetsch on Mukarovsky]
George Lakoff, Moral Politics (cp.: Wiki) [Response: Davis]
Erving Goffman, Frame Analysis (1974) [Response: Lavery]
John Berger, Ways of Seeing (1972) [Response Paris]
A Few Key Points:
Berger: three frames for social interpretations/interrogations of the art work: significance of reproduction (which can be extended to the "textual condition"), significance of the economic role (who owns the work, who consumes it and why, how it circulates); gender/class/race/ethnic/national narrative in the form or reception.
Goffman: what the "event" is (including the art "object") is determined by the frame (often there is more discussion about an event than the event itself; the discussion brings the event into focus); new frames often push out other frames and some frames stick (e.g. "stigma"); frames are cued or keyed; what is out-of-frame is often most significant. Frames are related to ideology (in Althusser's sense) and also "metaphors we live by" and categories: that through which we perceive/value. Compare also Wittgenstein's "seeing as" in Part II of Philosophical Investigations and especially his notion of "aspect blindness" (duck/rabbit).
Extensions: negations of frame (negative dialectics) versus conflict between frames (Blake's contraries) vs dialog (dialectic) among frames vs serial frame (serial poetry).
Does the text frame the interpretation or the interpretation frame the text? Or is a text a work without a frame?
Critic as artist/artist as critic: both critisism and art may engender new frames or context existing frames, or both. (Cf: "Frame Lock" in My Way: Speeches and Poems)
Sergei Eisenstein, "The Cinematographic Principle and the Ideogram", "A Dialectical Approach to Film Form" in Film Form
Dziga Vertov, Kino-Eye7
Lakoff, Metapors We Live By, Women Fire and Dangerous Things
Goffman, Gender Advertisements, Forms of Talk, etc.
Ways of Seeing BBC version on YouTube:
1- "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction": Episode 1 1/4 ; Episode 1 2/4 ; Episode 1 3/4 ; Episode 1 4/4
2- "The Female Nude": Episode 2 1/4; Episode 2 2/4: ?; Episode 2 3/4; :Episode 2 4/4
3. "Oil Painting": Episode 3 1/4; Episode 3 2/4; :Episode 3 3/4; Episode 3 4/4
4. "Advertising" Episode 4 1/3; Episode 4 2/3; Episode 4 3/3
Tues, Nov. 17 Danny Snelson at KWH, 6pm
Weds., Nov. 18 Christian Bok at KWH, 6pm
"He was such a child he imagined that six came after five, and seven after six. He used even to dare to think that as a general rule wherever we have one and then one more, we also have three, and five, and seven, and infinity — ∞.
Of course, he never thrust his opion on anyone else, he conisdered it belonged to him personally, and he recognized that the most sacred and holiest of all rights was to be able to hold a contrary opinion." -- Velimer Khlebnikov, "Let them read on my gravestone" (1904), tr. Paul Schmidt
11 (Nov. 19). Mental Fight (Social Protest or Counter-Hegemonic Project or Isn't that a Différance that Makes a Difference).
•Charles Olson (at 100): The Kingfishers (6:31) (audio/partial); text (1949) (and at LION); my commentary. [Response: Maney] "In Cold Hell, in Thicket" (via LION). Maximus "Letter 6" (via LION). Maximus, to himself and audio: Vancouver, 1963: Maximus,
to Himself ("I have had to learn the simplest things / last ...") [I:52-53] (2:26) [Response: Sparks on "Projective Verse" (1950)]. More Olson at the English 288 syllabus. Further reading: my "Introjective Verse". Fraser
•Robin Blaser, "The Violets: Charles Olson and Alfred North Whitehead" (1983), from The Fire; Two poems [Response: Laynor]
•Adrienne Rich, "When We Dead Awaken" (1971) [and via JSTOR] & "Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying" (1975) [Response: Sessions] [Further/optional reading: "Compulsory Heterosexuality"]
•Audre Lorde: (note Collected Lorde is avail. via LION, links here to open web versions where possible): "Poetry Is Not a Luxury" ; optional: More Lorde poetics
"Love Poem", "Blackstudies" , "Coal", "The Black Unicorn". "A Song for Many Movements": text, audio; "Power"; see note in this web posting of the poem. [Response: EtShalom on Rich and Lorde; she also recommends Lorde's "Transformation of Silence" (excerpt or full essay]
•Ron Silliman, "Disappearance of the Word, Appearance of the World": read; print (L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Supp. #3 via Eclipse [Response Senol]
•L= 9/10: Michael Davidson, Larry Eigner, P. Inman, Hannah Weiner (1979) [Response Snelson]
•Erica Hunt [Response: Wong], Bruce Andrews [Response: Paeth], and P. Inman essays in Politics of Poetic Form
•Tracie Morris, "Chain Gang," "From Slave Sho to Video aka Black but Beautiful," & "It All Started"
•Jackson Mac Low: 3d Biblical Poem (1955) and brief account here; Selection from Representative Works; Mac Low essay in Politics of Poetic Form [Fedors]
Low audio at PennSound: LINEbreak & "Black Tarantula
Gatha"(scroll down) (recommended: Radio Reading Project)
•Robert Grenier (Grenier will be presenting his work at KWH on Oct. 27, so that's the best start) "Rough" translations from Drawing/Poems, 2004, A conversation with Charles Bernstein (Jacket, 2008) [Response: Neuman]
•Jean Baudrilliard, The Mirror of Production (1973)
•Deleuze/Guatari, Anti-Oedipus (1972) [Response: Paeth]
•Olson's "Projective Verse" (1950) and "Proprioception"
•Creeley on Olson: Charles Olson: In Cold Hell, in Thicket, Charles Olson: The Maximus Poems, 1–10, Some Notes on Olson's Maximus, Introduction to Charles Olson: Selected Writings I , Introduction to Charles Olson: Selected Writings II, A Foot Is to Kick With, An Image of Man . . .": Working Notes on Charles Olson's Concept of Person, Charles Olson's Masterwork
•Cf: English 288 syllabus: Amiri Baraka, Gil Scott-Herron, Audre Lord, Jayne Cortez, Adrienne Rich
•Carla Billitteri, Language and the Renewal of Society in Walt Whitman, Laura (Riding) Jackson, and Charles Olson: The American Cratylus
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009
[Response: a preview for next week: Lavery on Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist and Decay of Lying
Aesthetics and Politics: Debates between Adorno, Benjmain, Block, Brcht, Lukacs, afterword by Jameson, Verso Books
Krzysztof Zanussi once made the film “Structure of Crystal”. In the movie, a physicist fleeing to a village from the hardships of ideology shows an acquaintance some unimaginable machine – with wires, indicators, bulbs and so on. Everything is flashing, buzzing. When asked what the machine is for the physicist exaltedly answers – What for? It just works!
—Arkaddi Dragomoschenko, "Upper Layers of the Atmospher" (for Alexi Parshikov)
12 (Dec. 3). Mental Fright, or Won't You Buy My Illusions (Slightly Used):
Bachelor Machines and their Others (Mockery/Parody/Détournement/Absorption)
[[Maney on Olson (see week 11)
Laynor on Blaser: two poems, Violets: on Olson/Whitehead
Fedors on Mac Low, see week 11]]
N.B.: Brief explanation of "bachelor machines" in respect to my "Recantorium" (published in Critical Inquiry in 2009); Michel de Certeau on machines célibataires in Ars de Faire.
•Kafka, “In the Penal Colony” (1914): German / English [Response: Wong]
•Simone Weil, "Gravity and Grace" and "Illusions (Weil died in 1943; see Google book info) [Response: Sessions]
•Guy Debord on Dérive and on Détournement [Response: Niles]
•Johanna Drucker, from Sweet Dreams: Contemporary Art and Complicty
•Etheridge Knight, The Warden Said to Me the Other Day; audio at PennSound
•Tan Lin, Two Flash Videos and interview with Kristen Gallagher, Gordan Tapper, and Chris Alexander and on Close Listening. [Response: Corrigan]
•Kenny Goldsmith's The Weather by Charles Bernstein
•Caroline Bergvall, from Shorter Chaucer Tales (2006): The Pope addresses women: "The Franker Tale (deus hic, 2)": MP3 (5:41) Text published in Jacket #32; see also note on text, from same issue.[Response: Neuman]
•Issue #1 and Issue #2 (Steve McLaughlin, Jim Carpenter)
•K. Silem Mohammad, Deer Head Nation. In Deer Head Nation, Mohammad uses the Google search page result as his basic text, editing from there: “You punch a keyword or keywords or phrase into Google and work directly with the result text that gets thrown up. I paste the text into Word and just start stripping stuff away until what’s left is interesting to me, then I start meticulously chipping away at and fussing with that.”
FLARF: A recent extension of this approach, which is developing independently, is called "flarf." Michael Magree explains, in this Experiments List exclusive report, "The Flarf Files." See also: a negative view of Flarf & Jacket's Flarf fearture
•Steve McCaffery, translation of "The Communist Manifesto" into West Riding of Yorkshire dialect: audio, text
•Monique Wittig ("Le Corps Lesbien") in French original. (See Butler's Gender Trouble pp. 28-29 for discussion of Wittig's "Mark of Gender."
•Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist and Decay of Lying
•The work of Marcel Duchamp [Response: Davis, Seguy]
•The work of Alfred Jarry and pataphysics [Response: Price]
•Burroughs-Gysin from The Third Mind
•Michael de Certeau, Practice of Everyday Life: excerpt: pp.ix – 76 [Response Henze-Gongola]
•Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle (1967): Original by Guy Debord (Champ Libre, 1967); French: Download (chapters by HTML); Tr. .Fredy Perlman and Jon Supak (Black & Red, 1970; rev. ed. 1977): Download (chapters by HTML)' Tr. Donald Nicholson-Smith (New York: Zone Books, 1994): Download (chapters by HTML); Tr. Ken Knabb: Download (chapters by HTML), pdf. Key words: detournement and derive
•Jerome McGann, Patacriticism web site
13 (Dec. 10). Last Class: Discussion of papers and projects
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