Joyelle McSweeney

Elysian weather

A review of Joyelle McSweeney's 'The Necropastoral: Poetry, Media, Occults'

“I am a Futurist,” writes Joyelle McSweeney, describing the strange historical allegiances of her work: “But I am a Futurist of 1909 rather than a Futurist who believes or anticipates a Future as envisioned by, say, TED talk panelists or believers in the progressive motion of literature as a reinforcement of political/capitalist bona fides.” Above: ‘The City Rises,’ an early Futurist work by Umberto Boccioni, 1910.

As declarations of avant-garde intent go, McSweeney’s is deliciously paradoxical: an anachronistic investment in a movement that militated against anachronism, that made war on the past and its pious preservation. 

“I am a Futurist,” writes Joyelle McSweeney, describing the strange historical allegiances of her work: “But I am a Futurist of 1909 rather than a Futurist who believes or anticipates a Future as envisioned by, say, TED talk panelists or believers in the progressive motion of literature as a reinforcement of political/capitalist bona fides.”[1] As declarations of avant-garde intent go, McSweeney’s is deliciously paradoxical: an anachronistic investment in a movement that militated against anachronism, that made war on the past and its pious preservation.

The posthuman humane

On James Pate's 'Flowers Among the Carrion'

Image at right courtesy of James Pate.

“Poetry tends to be smarter than philosophy and critical theory.” So writes James Pate in the terminal essay to his Flowers Among the Carrion: Essays On the Gothic in Contemporary Poetry. The occasion for this observation is a discussion of poetry’s relationship to materialism, especially as corporeal experience, simultaneously carnal and consciousness-haunted, constitutes the substance (as distinguished from the subject) of Feng Sun Chen’s work. 

“Poetry tends to be smarter than philosophy and critical theory.”[1] So writes James Pate in the terminal essay to his Flowers Among the Carrion: Essays On the Gothic in Contemporary Poetry. The occasion for this observation is a discussion of poetry’s relationship to materialism, especially as corporeal experience, simultaneously carnal and consciousness-haunted, constitutes the substance (as distinguished from the subject) of Feng Sun Chen’s work.

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