Robert Fitterman's Holocaust Museum (Veer Books, 2011) is composed of sets of captions from photographs in The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The absence of the images has a powerful effect, evoking the erasure of a people and a culture through the Systematic Extermination Process. Over the course of Fitterman's book, lists become litanies, with intricate and horrific repetitions rippling through what simultaneously seems like dryasdust clippings. Fitterman's work is exemplary in its apparently inexpressive, understated approach. Page after page of catalog entries without photographs, names without faces, deeds without doers creates a work more chilling than the original installation, from which the captions are derived. Loss – erasure and absence – is made palpable by the marked suppression of the missing photographs.
The problems with representations "after Auschwitz" are well-rehearsed, hovering, like an angry hornet, around the crisis for representation posed by this particular series of catastrophic events and processes. Images, no matter how disfigured, mask the unseen, unspoken, and inexplicable but always -- here's the hardest part -- imaginable, reality: imaginable in consequence of being real. Imaginable yet ungraspable. Imaginable yet apparently out images' reach. Imaginable because we have no choice but to imagine, no matter how resistant our imaginations may be to the task. Imgined, in other words, through the not that Adorno called negative dialectics.
For this issue we are looking for writing on music that departs from the implicit and explicit norms of academic music scholarship in favor of a more experimental or creative approach to language and form. “Experimental writing on music” is a broad criterion and we would like to keep it that way. Thus, the following should simply be taken as examples of some possible avenues to pursue:
Jorge Santiago Perednik (1952-2011) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. An influential poet and literary critic, he was also a publisher and a translator of English and American poetry. He founded several literary journals, two of the most influential being XUL and Deriva. The former was an important poetry journal that started publishing during Argentina’s last military dictatorship in 1980; it continued until 1997 with the printing of its 12th issue. As a journal, XUL provided regular compilations of some the most innovative poetry of its time. The journal was also one of Argentina’s best sources of new critical writing. It was dedicated to publishing the most diverse poetics within the experimental tradition. Perednik's work as a poet and editor reflected his interest in many of the poetics included in the journal: visual poetry; John Cage’s mesostics; sound and performative texts--along with the most serious experimental works in Spanish American poetry. Perednik’s writing was primarily associated with his always expanding interest in exploring language and its relation to poetry rather than with any particular literary school.
The journal’s title EPSIANS derives from EPSI, i.e., English Poetry Studies Institute of Sun Yat-sen University (P. R. China). The journal is international in scope, open to Chinese and English-speaking scholars, and is mainly devoted to poetry studies with occasional contributions on other related topics. The first issue was published in September of 2011, and can be downloaded here.
Papers submitted to the journal should be sent to: epsians2011--@--gmail.com. Deadline for contribution to the third issue is June 1, 2012.
PennSound has replaced the low-res version of these tapes, so now possible to see in full-screen. The program took place at the Whitney’s Philip Morris space, across from Grand Central terminal in New York.