Textual Conditions

Charles Bernstein
English 584 / Comparative Literature 730
Fall 1997
Thursdays 12:30pm, 438 Clemens
bernstei@acsu, 645-3810
office hours Thursday 10:30-11:30, 3:15-4:15 or by appointment

Requirements: Weekly short response paper; one or more longer responses, to be presented in class, to guest speakers or assigned or recommended book. Final paper or project.

Please post responses and additional comments on the seminar reading or classes on our listserve, CORE-L. Participation in CORE-L is an essential part of the class. (Send message to "listserv@listserv.buffalo.edu" that says "sub core-l Jill Jillway" substituting your name for Jill Jillway.)

The Wednesdays at Four series is an integral part of the class. Please attend as possible. Responses in seminar and Core-L may be to the syllabus readings or to these events.

1. (Sept. 4) Introduction
Prehistory / Further Research
Henri Breuil, Four Hundred Centuries of Cave Art.
Andre Leroi-Gourhan, Treasures of Prehistoric Art.
______, The Dawn of European Art : An Introduction to Palaeolithic Cave Painting.
Georges Bataille, Lascaux; or, the Birth of Art: Prehistoric Painting.
(Note: The books have not been placed on reserve to all for brief check-outs during the semester, also many other books in Lockwood in "N5310" and also search Bison for "petroglyphs".)
& see iconic database

2. (Sept. 11) A Brief History of Writing
Johanna Drucker, The Alphabetic Labyrinth: The Letters in History and Imagination (TL or LR)
Georges Jean, Writing: The Story of Alphabets and Scripts (to p. 128) (TL)
[See Drucker bibliography for further reading]
Eric A. Havelock, The Muse Learns To Write: Reflections on Orality and Literacy from Antiquity to the Present
Henri-Jean Martin, History and Power of Writing
I. J. Gelb, A Study of Writing: The Foundations of Grammatology (1952) The World's Writing Systems, ed. Peter T. Daniels and William Bright
SEE ALSO by Charles Olson: The Chiasma, or Lectures in the New Sciences of Man (1953), published as no. 10 of Olson (Fall 1978); Proprioception (1959-62), in The Collected Prose of Charles Olson (out this Fall), and Pleistocene Man (1965), part of the series "A Curriculum for the Study of the Soul" (Olson recs. by Ben Freidlander)
Reproductions of Beowulf ms
Media Time Line

3. (Sept. 18): Kevin Killian on Jack Spicer: "Poetry as Medium"
Jack Spicer, The Collected Books (TL)
Spicer, First Vancouver Lecture: "Dictation and 'The Textbook of Poetry'"; introduction and notes by Peter Gizzi (forthcoming Wesleyan University Press, copied with permission) (X)

Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 9pm
Special event: MOO with John Unsworth's related class as University of Virginia
Check out his syllabus and log on to MOO at Unsworth

4. (Sept. 25) Book as Medium
Clement Greenberg, Stanley Cavell, Michael Fried on the idea of a medium (X).
Marshall McLuhan, The Guttenberg Gallaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (LR)
_____, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (TL, L)
Charles Alexander, ed., Talking the Boundless Book: Art, Language, and the Book Arts
H. J. Chaytor, From Script to Print: An Introduction to Medieval Vernacular Literature (1945)
Harold Innis, The Bias of Cmmunication (1951)
Jerome Rothenberg and David Guss, ed., the book, spiritual instrument
Gerard Genette, Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation
M. B. Parks, Pause and Effect: Punctuation in the West
MCLUHAN LINKS (reveal codes):
McLuhan Studies journal; see esp. essay on Pound/McLuhan correspondence and also Barrelli on Blake: http://www.icgc.com/mcluhan_studies/
McLuhan interviews: http://www.videomcluhan.com/interv1.htm
Lecture by Florida State University, 1970: http://www.videomcluhan.com/lectures.htm
1969 Playboy interview: http://www.mcluhanmedia.com/mmclpb01.html
Kroker on McLuhan: http://www.ctheory.com/a28-digital_humanism.html
OTHER LINKS on the idea of a "medium" :
Bernstein, "I Don't Take Voice Mail": http://writing.upenn.edu/epc/authors/bernstein/voicemail
& "Play It Again, Pac Man": http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/postmodern_culture/v002/2.1bernstein.html

5. No class Oct. 2:
Special joint session with Susan Howe's seminar on Tues., September 30, 3:30pm (Clemens 436) for Marta Werner's talk: "The Flights of A 821: The Dearhivization of Birdsong in Dickinson's (Un)pinned Fragments."
Marta Werner, Emily Dickinson's Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing (LR under Howe, TL)

6. (Oct. 9) Jackson Mac Low visit
Mac Low, Representative Works (TL)
_______From Pearl Harbor Day to FDR's Birthday (TL)
**other Mac Low books in Poetry Collection**
Mac Low, "The Writings of John Cage up to the Late 1980s" (X)
Selected "Forties" (X)
Mac Low LINKS:
LINEbreak interview
___sound at Ubuweb
EPC homepage - including Radio Reading Project

7. (Oct. 16) The Visible Word
Johanna Drucker, The Visible Word: Experimental Typography & Modern Art, 1909-1923 (TL,L)
Georges Jean, Writing, "Documents" section
Drucker PMC interview
ASSIGNMENT: experiment with different visual spacings of Mallarmé or Williams or other poets; do an original visually marked typographic, work, etc.
Tom Phillips web site
Kenny Goldsmith VP Ubuweb
UVa Blake
Blake Digital Text Project
Experimental - Visual - Concrete: Avant-Garde Poetry Since the 1960s, ed. K. David Jackson, Eric Vos, and Johanna Drucker (Eduardo Kac's essay on holographic poetry is also at http://www.altx.com/ebr/ebr5/kac.htm)
Herbert Spencer, The Liberated Page
Willard Bohn, The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry
Willard Bohn, Appolinaire, Visual Poetry, and Art Criticism
Henry Sayre, The Visual Text of William Carlos Williams
Michel Leiris, tr. Lydia Davis, "Alphabet" in Rules of the Game
Henry Sayre, Robert Frank, eds. The Line in Postmodern Poetry, esp.: "L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Lines", Fraser, Hubert
Gerald Janecek, Zaum: The Transrational Poetry of Russian Futurism (chapter 9)
____The Look of Russian Literature
Velimir Khlebnikov, Collected Writings
Dick Higgins, Pattern Poems
Emmet Williams, ed.. Anthology of Concrete Poetry
Milton Kolonsky, ed. Talking Pictures

8. (Oct. 23) Steve McCaffery visit: "Text, Lay-out and Memory: Some Premonitory
Grammatological Forces"
McCaffery, Evoba (distributed in class: not available at TL)
Xerox packet will include selected pages from early paleography, the Book of Kells and of Durrow, selections from the work of Joshua Steele, Peter Walkden Fogg, Mercurius van Helmont , and from the "Preces Privitatae" of Lancelot Andrewes
sound on Ubuweb
LINEbreak program

9. (Oct. 30) Electronic Poetry Center
Basic assignment: explore the EPC as fully as you can. For one-week or term project: work on something that can be incorporated into the EPC. (This could be bibliographic, critical material, or a response to an author listed in the EPC author directory. Or review a recent work by an EPC author.) Format your response as an HTML document to be considered for inclusion into the EPC as part of the course syllabus. We will transfer the document from your home page to the EPC. To learn how to make your own home page: www.acsu.buffalo.edu/how-to-hp.html.
Johanna Drucker, "Language as Information: Intimations of Immateriality"
Michael Joyce, "Notes Toward an Unwritten Non-Linear Electronic Text, 'The Ends of Print Culture'"
Loss Pequeño Glazier and Ken Sherwood LINEbreak interview
Glazier essays, Mayapan, Jumping to Occlusions, Mouseover, & other works. See also Jumping to Occlusions at PMC.

Issa Clubb, "on the ghost in the machine: the font as spiritual medium in CD-ROM poetry design"
The Mysteries of Jodi and commentary
Alan Liu's literary theory links
Further excursions into hypertextville@Internet in Spring semester seminar

10. (Nov. 6) Textual Scholarship and Beyond
Jerome McGann, The Textual Condition (TL)
Rossetti archive web site. This will be accessible only for the week before the class.
British poetry site.
McGann, "Radiant Textuality" essay.
(note: these two books are in Lockwood but not on reserve)
McGann, Black Riders: The Visible Language of Modernism (TL)
___ A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism (TL)

11. (Nov. 13) Randall McLeod visit: "Enter Reader"
McLeod, Two essays (pamphlet to be distributed in class):

12. (Nov. 20) Sound as Medium of Writing
Bernstein, "Close Listening" (x)
Gregory Nagy, Poetry As Performance : Homer and Beyond Cambridge (TL, L)
Ubuweb sound page.
Caedmon poetry recordings: http://www.harperaudio.com/
Martin Spinelli, "Radio Lessons for the Internet." Postmodern Culture 6.2 (January 1996).

13. (Dec. 4) Joan Jonas visit: Video as Medium
Jonas writings and interviews (X)
Jean Younglbook, Expanded Cinema


background image: detail from Blake's "Jerusalem"