Articles - May 2012

A poetics of informationalism

It’s a platitude now: of all the technologies of the new millennium, information technology is placed on the highest pedestal. If the present century, or least its first half, goes down in history as the age of information technology, this will surprise few. Thus, at the end of the first decade of the new millennium it is imperative that we view language arts, especially poetics, in light of this emerging technology and its closest kith and kin.

1. Demolition of distance

Circumcontentive poetry

An off-white paper

Cover of the "Off-white paper" by Madhuja Mukherjee.

Editorial note: This “off-white paper,” coauthored by the contributors to Aryanil Mukherjee’s Bengali poetry feature for Jacket2, addresses “circumcontentive poetry,” which draws upon the languages of thermodynamics and systems theory to explain a poetics using the language of science. — Sarah Dowling

Bengali poetry: A brief history

The need for circumcontent

The circumcontent of science and poetry

Science is far from a perfect instrument of knowledge; it’s just the best we have. More than a body of knowledge, it is a way of thinking. The contextual openness we incite in the concept of the “circumcontent” impresses upon us a similar notion of science that can tap its way into the heartland of poetic thought. A fundamental assumption we make in the white paper on Circumcontentive Poetry is that it will address a well-informed audience as opposed to the masses as they are generally conceived in Bengal.

Fence consciousness

“there were days when I chose to serve as border patrol
before actually crossing over”

‘Woodense’: A close twinning

Aryanil Mukherjee with a detail of a “thought-schema” sketch of his poem “Woodense.”

A caged tiger who is regularly fed is probably not too keen to escape the quadrangle. Look at him — he’s mostly in the midst of a lazy yawn. A child who has never seen a tiger would find it hard to discover his ferocity behind the metal nets, and might instead be moved by his deep eyes, incisive canines and checkered fur. “Here is my new pet!” he might exclaim.