In the reflections that follow, I refer to media-archaeological reassessments of psychoanalytic theory as a way of opening American poet Bernadette Mayer’s Studying Hunger Journals (1972–1975)to new readings. If, as argued by the likes of Jacques Derrida and Friedrich Kittler, among others, psychoanalytic models of the human mind, from the “psychic apparatus” of Sigmund Freud to the schema of Jacques Lacan, are in fact underwritten by the media-technical conditions of their respective historical eras, then how might this insight shift perspectives on Mayer’s book, a project undertaken not only as an aid to psychoanalysis, but also at the dawn of the so-called Information Age?
Jacques (Lacan) has wise words 4 me, it’s 2 good to B true, you’re 2 good to B’dette. —Bernadette Mayer, Studying Hunger Journals
Saying it all is literally impossible. — Jacques Lacan, Television
It is a truism for the experimental translator that as Google Translate gets better, it actually gets worse. Witness the demise of the ability to "Turn Your Google Translate Into a Beatbox." If you follow the instructions now, you only get a perfunctory recitation of consonants, alas.
Kristen Gallagher: So this started because we were talking about how we wanted a more historical understanding of the lyric. And so I made you a copy of this essay by Geoffrey Winthrop-Young summarizing Friedrich Kittler’s revolt in German literary criticism, his move from hermeneutics to discourse-analysis, because it leads him to some provocative conclusions about lyric poetry in Germany as a disciplinary effect.