Reviews - July 2012

A review of 'Memory Wing'

When I read an acquaintance’s life writing, it seems an act of friendship not only because my experience and impressions of that person can be confirmed or amplified, but I learn new things and am drawn to consider how that person structures, omits, references cultural matters, politicizes, or not, their lives. What does the work as fiction do?

On the undesirability of total bliss

A review-essay on Jon Leon

In a culture in which unfreedom is the object even of the desire for freedom, Elizabeth Zoë Lindsay Drink Fanta may offer the disappearance of desire (in the paradoxical form of the immediacy of everything touchable) not so much as a solution — the book is anything but a commentary on celebrity culture or a polemic against the culture industry — but as a factual index of the total poverty of everyday life.

Anarchic inventions: On making poetry present

David Antin and Charles Bernstein

How does (or should) one regard the work of innovative or experimental poets whom one has been reading for nearly forty years? The question is, to be sure, something of a mare’s nest — not one question but several, starting perhaps with the old problem of whether the terms “modernism,” “avant-garde,” or even “art” itself are not inherently defined by term limits. The artist Lawrence Weiner once said: “When my work is assimilated into the art context, it will change something. I hope it won’t be considered viable living art in ten years.