Commentaries

Wai Chee Dimock, 'Education Populism'

Wai Chee Dimock, editor of PMLA, published her editor’s comment during fall 2017 on the “education populism” she discerned in several affiliated projects hosted at the Kelly Writers House — among them, PennSound, PoemTalk, ModPo, and the programs offered in the old house at 3805 Locust Walk itself. A PDF copy of the article is available HERE.

Michael Davidson: 'Cleavings: Critical Losses in the Politics of Gain'

[Reposted from Disability Studies QuarterlyVol 36, No 2 (2016), where all sources are cited with pertinent footnotes. In the present version, however, I would like to stress the fusion of critical and personal voices by Michael Davidson, himself a pioneer in literature-based disability studies and a poet and essayist of considerable accomplishment. A major essay of his on “the poetics of disability” in the work of Larry Eigner can be found here and on Poems and Poetics. It also forms a chapter in his book Concerto for the Left Hand: Disability and the Defamiliar Body, University of Michigan Press, 2008. (J.R.)]

[Reposted from Disability Studies Quarterly, Vol 36, No 2 (2016), where all sources are cited with pertinent footnotes. In the present version, however, I would like to stress the fusion of critical and personal voices by Michael Davidson, himself a pioneer in literature-based disability studies and a poet and essayist of considerable accomplishment.

Irakli Qolbaia: Three new poems in English, with a note on poetics by the author

Irakli Qolbaia: Three new poems in English

In dream I was writing, but writing a real book (for I believe there are real books, the books behind books, that deepest in the roots of our books of which only shadow casts itself on the ground once we put up the copy we create or rip off it to stand like a tree), this real book, in that dream, was written in this manner:

[An important poet, writer, and translator in his native Georgian, Irakli Qolbaia is in a line of modern and postmodern poets who have used English or other foreign languages as additional and particularized mediums for poetry. There is more to be said about this, but Qolbaia’s poems and notes presented here are a new start in that direction, for which we should be duly grateful. (j.r.)]

 

When poems change

Carla Harryman’s Artifact of Hope (Kenning Editions, 2017) is a creative/critical encounter with the work of the German philosopher Ernst Bloch. Through a variety of forms — daydreams, letters, meditations, quotations, classroom assignments, and even a conference paper — she engages with Bloch’s key concept of “hope.” These too are transpositions, insofar as they expand the meaning of translation beyond issues of linguistic or cultural equivalence. Bloch devoted his life to the study of utopia. In his three-volume magnum opus Das Prinzip Hoffnug, published in West Germany in the late 1950s and in the US (translation by Neville Plaice, Stephen Plaice, and Paul Knight) in 1986, he linked the intellectual emotion of hope to the human desire for a better life.

Carla Harryman’s Artifact of Hope (Kenning Editions, 2017) is a creative/critical encounter with the work of the German philosopher Ernst Bloch. Through a variety of forms — daydreams, letters, meditations, quotations, classroom assignments, and even a conference paper — she engages with Bloch’s key concept of “hope.” These too are transpositions, insofar as they expand the meaning of translation beyond issues of linguistic or cultural equivalence.