Commentaries - April 2013

Dominique Fourcade and Charles Bernstein in conversation on modernism, abstraction, & Stein

Henri Matisse, Woman with a Hat, 1905.

Dominique Fourcade and Charles Bernstein in conversation
"La poétique, l'écriture de la poésie et l'invention du modernism"
(Poetics, the writing of poetry, and the invention of modernism)
presentated at the  Gertrude Stein and the Arts  conference, which was part of the Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso... L’aventure des Stein 
at the Grand Palais in Paris  (same as  "The Steins Collect" at SF MoMA now at the Met (in NY). 

Oct. 21, 2011. (1:05:45): MP3
the conversation in entirely in English
courtesy PennSound

L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E POETICS: 2 volume Chinese translation of selected essays and poems by Charles Bernstein

by Charles Bernstein
translated by Luo Lianggong, et al.
Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, Feb 2013
ISBN  978-7-5446-3021-4 / I-0229
190 pages

Crowdsourcing Emily Dickinson on Australian radio

'Future Tense' program on MOOCs, including ModPo

Future Tense,” a program hosted on Radio National by the Australian Broadcasting Company, features an exploration of MOOCs — a half-hour program that includes a discussion of one course, namely ModPo. For “Future Tense” program notes, go here. To listen to the recording of the broadcast directly (and to download it), go here.

Bob Perelman: Canonicity

[Originally a talk at a panel on canonicity (Jessica Pressman, Brian Reed, & Bob Perelman) at University of California, San Diego, organized by Michael Davidson, Feb 2013.]

 Now that I'm 65 I can ride Philly buses free. That's the good news. The more 'interesting' news is that the balance of homeostasis and desire has become a surprisingly touchy question. Keeping things the same is suddenly attractive, quite attractive, impossibly attractive. All my writing life I've learned that semantics are open-ended, but I'm starting to get the feeling that some words will turn out to have only one meaning, which is a novel and not a totally pleasant thought. "Finite" is one of those words. I don't in fact know what its one meaning is, but extraneous hypotheses are getting shorn away daily, even hourly, which I suppose is progress.

In one sense the question of canons in poetry seems decidedly old-school. It brings back memories of the 1980s — Marjorie Perloff's "Can(n)on to the Left of Us, Can(n)on to the Right of Us," Jerome Rothenberg's "Harold Bloom: The Critic as Exterminating Angel," Charles Bernstein's "The Academy in Peril: William Carlos Williams Meets the MLA" — when the battle map was in crisp focus. That was when O'Hara's poetry could be compared to a small electric fan blowing out crepe-paper streamers, when Stein was a hoax, when Language writing was a dismissible fad, when Williams meant wheelbarrows.

Discussing the poet's novel with Dan Beachy-Quick

image from W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn

Laynie Browne: Is there such a thing as a “poet’s novel”?  If so, how would you characterize the form?

Dan Beachy-Quick: I do think there is such a thing, though I don’t think it’s any one thing. The simplest answer would be a novel that a poet writes, but I think we all feel that such a measurement fails. I suppose in my thinking I consider a “poet’s novel” one that bears a certain kind of relation to itself, a relation that parallels a poem’s relation to itself. Such a novel may or may not have a stake in plot, but such narrative drive feels to me an accident of a deeper investigation, one which can only be conducted by the novel being written. Such a book asks a question that can only be asked within the world it creates, as Melville must include within Moby-Dick that information, that encyclopedia, that makes a whaler of any reader of the book.