Hartley "Textual Politics" - On Stein: "She does not write in order to enclose (define, delimit, decipher) the world but to move within it; in other words, she does not function according to the static determinism of the noun but through the process of relationship." Juxtaposition important; meaning in relation. Political lang poets: McGann, "Contemp Poetry, Alt Routes" - Lang poets repudiate linear and/or chornological narrative, and use instead anti-narrative and non-narrative. Lang writing is actually constructive in its demolition of the conventional relation between the active (dictatorial) writer and the passive (victimized reader)--against the "I know, you don't," "I have, you want," "I give, you take" writer- reader relationship. Thinks of political life and learning (government-citizen and teacher-student relations) in the same way. Lang writing attempts to draw reader into production process by leaving connections between various elements open, thus allowing reader to help produce those connections. Bernstein, "Whose Language" (P) - ..by leaving connections between various elements open, thus allowing reader to help produce those connections. John Cage: "Studying being interrupted." Bernstein's "Dysraphism" (B) - "I felt the abridgement of imperatives....Morose or comotose." (Jackson Mac Low: healthy for meaning to think of words as sounds: "But can I specify anything beyond sounds? Words gives "'the sensation of meaning,'" but can I connect the meanings of the words as readily as I find their sounds connected?" Howe from My Emily (B) - Who polices questions of grammar? Commends "breaking the law just short of breaking off communication." Tom Mandel's "Realism": "The text guards the door to the reading room." Armantrout, "Lang of Love" (P) - If lang (e.g. sexual political lang) is forever exfoliated and encoded, then "understanding" is itself one of those words. Coming on to you, "The boss could say / 'parameters' / and mean something / like 'I'll pinch.'" Silliman, "Albany" (B) - linear chronological autobiographical narrative is bullshit. John Cage: "Constellations of ideas (five as a minimum)." Narrative essence = having a goal; but, per John Cage, "Goal is not to have a goal." "This" is the one thing that will save America. Make it new = renew contract with America: "Sign here and the ink will fade in conditions of its own choosing, an icon overcome by the conditions of its control" (Tom Mandel, "Realism"). See the back of this page. Kathleen Fraser, "re:searches" (P) - same attitude against chronological autobiography as Silliman. "Not random, these / crystalline structures, these / non-reversible orders...this language we come up against." Carla Harryman, "Realism" & Tom Mandel, "Realism" (P) - Pomo lang is not only meaningful but is in fact a form of realism superior to what we customarily call realism, a mimesis (imitation) not of the external object but of the perceptual process itself. John Cage: "Art=imitation of nature in her manner of operation." From McGann In an important essay, "Narrating Narration," on Silliman's work, Bernstein points out that Silliman's nonnarratives consciously work against "the deep slumber of chronology, causality, and false unity (totalization)."He elaborates this idea in a general comment which might well serve as the basis for a particular exegesis of the passage I just quoted: "Detail is cast upon detail, minute particular on minute particular, adding up to an impossibility of commensurable narrative. With every new sentence a new embarkation: not only is the angle changed, and it's become a close-up, but the subject is switched. Yet maybe the sound's the same, carries it through. Or like an interlocking chain: A has a relation to B and B to C, but B and C have nothing in common (series not essence)." Silliman's text commits itself to the "Not this," to a productivity that starts over and over again. But while the work is clearly a processive text, its movement is not governed by a narrativized totality. At the same time, if the work is oriented toward "the future," toward "what comes next," it grounds itself in both the present and the past: what it denominates, in its first two sentences, as the "this" and then "then." The chief effect is a brilliant sense of immediacy which is not, however, fixed or formalized. [In non-chronological narrative] language is carrying out--dramatizing--certain fundamental realities of social space and social relations. Silliman's text is a vast trope of the human world. Events in the past continually impinge upon the present and possibilities beyond the present: words and phrases recur in slightly altered forms and circumstances, as do syntactical forms, images, and sound patterns. As a consequence, we confront time, or the sequence of eventualities, in a highly pressurized state.
Document URL: http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/lang-poetry-summary.html
Last modified: Wednesday, 18-Jul-2007 16:27:14 EDT