Commentaries

New World Reading

This week to follow up on my post about Kobus Moolman, winner of the Glenna Luschei prize, I’m sharing some fine posts about Moolman’s fellow finalists, Joan Metelerkamp and Togara Muzanenhamo, and about contemporary African writing more broadly.

 

There once was a time, in Frank O’Hara’s day, when an American reader had to

“walk up the muggy street beginning to sun   

and have a hamburger and a malted and buy

Undoing the great modernist aural vowel shift

[The recording of the deformance described in this commentary is here.] When Jed Rasula and Steve McCaffrey assembled an anthology of historical avant-gardism called Imagining Language (1998), their goal was to find, “along the canonical spectrum, within the regulated normality of literature,” the various “occasional protuberances of another submerged order.” Wallace Stevens is nowhere to be found here, perhaps not surprisingly, among selections from the writings of Stein, Joyce, Whitman, Madeline Gins, Hugo Ball, Max Ernst, Lupino Lane, Armand Schwerner, Zora Neale Hurston, Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Mac Low, bp Nichol, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and others. Was Stevens not in the vocabulary of McCaffrey, that pioneering member of Canadian sound-poetry performance group The Four Horsemen, or that of Rasula, the poet-scholar/network TV advisor who brought ABC’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not together with the same avant-garde Four Horsemen? The impression given that Stevens is not involved in Imagining Language as a project — similar to the assumption (incorrect, as it turns out) that Stevens’s effect would need to be somewhat repressed in order for Rachel Blau DuPlessis’s Pink Guitar to reclaim modernism’s radical tendencies — implies mistakenly that McCaffrey, for one, has not deeply pondered Stevens’s relevance to his own poetic project.

The Poetry of Osip Mandelstam: A Radio Play by Paul Celan (complete)

Translated from Celan’s German by Pierre Joris

 

[Reposted as a followup to Pierre Joris’s “Thoughts on Osip Mandelstam’s Birthday,” Jacket2, January 16, 2016.]

 

Carolee Schneemann at Segue (three readings)

Three Carolee Schneemann readings in the Segue Series are now available — segmented by poem — at PennSound on our Schneemann author page here. (Thanks to Hannah Judd who did the segmenting).

Twenty-six items from 'Special Collections' (j)

Exhibit 'J': Medieval Icelandic.

Bibliography: The Poetic Edda, translated with an Introduction and Notes by Carolyne Larrington (Oxford University Press, 1996). A few words from Larrington's Introduction: "The Codex Regius, the manuscript in which the Poetic Edda is preserved, is an unprepossessing-looking codex the size of a fat paperback, bound in brown with brownish vellum pages; it is now kept in the Arnamagnæan Institute in Reykjavik. Most of the mythological and heroic poems it contains are only in this single manuscript....