Charles Bernstein

Firewood/Foreword to Reading Experimental Writing, ed. Georgina Colby

Reading Experimental Writing
Edited by Georgina Colby
Edinburgh University Press (2020): NOW OUT in cloth
Paperback will be published in August 2021

The essays comprising this conceptually rich and astutely edited volume read contemporary experimental writing in terms of its engagement with a genuinely historical present moment, unfolding at manifold sites of turbulence. The result is a set of extraordinarily timely essays on aesthetic activism, reflecting an array of perspectives while sharing a sense of the contemporary as emergent and still incomplete. This is a powerful contribution to the moment, and one with long term significance.
Lyn Hejinian

Firewood/Foreword, Charles Bernstein (full text below)
Introduction: Reading Experimental Writing, Georgina Colby
1. “‘Fog is My Land’: A Citizenship of Mutual Estrangement in the Painted Books of Etel Adnan, Jennifer Scappettone
2. Reading Happily with John Cage, Lyn Hejinian, and Others, Alex Houen
3. Experiment, Inscription and the Archive: Kathy Acker’s Manuscript Practice, Georgina Colby
4. Rereading Race and Commodity Form in Erica Hunt’s ‘Piece Logic,’ Chris Chen
5. Contemporary Experimental Translations and Translingual Poetics, Sophie Seita
6. On Joan Retallack’s Memnoir: Investigating ‘the Experience of Experiencing,’ erica kaufman
7. A Queer Response to Caroline Bergvall's Hyphenated Practice: Toward an Interdependent Model of Reading, Susan Rudy
8. Reading Language Art in Digital Media: Reconfigurations of Experimental Practices, John Cayley
9. Charles Bernstein’s Walter Benjamin, Among Other Things, Peter Jaeger

Legend: The Complete Facsimile in Context

LEGEND was written in the late 1970s by Bruce Andrews, Charles Bernstein, Ray DiPalma, Steve McCaffery, and Ron Silliman. This new editition is edited by Matthew Hofer, Michael Golston and includes a new, unpubished  collaboration by all five poets, written especially for this edition, as well an introduction of a selection of correspondence by the authors while they were writing the poems.

Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt, / Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd

Just as you are refreshed by the gladness of the river, and the bright flow, I was refreshed

I went for a walk to the banks of the Hudson, where 225 years ago George Washington bid a hasty nighttime retreat over these waters after the stunning upset in the Battle of Brooklyn.

We have our own Battle of Brooklyn now. And a battle for America.

I was heartened to see the Bridge, in all its glory, Mannahatta rising up behind, and in the distance (we're not there yet) the Statue of Liberty.

I thought of Hart Crane (of course!):

Under thy shadow by the piers I waited
in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City’s fiery parcels all undone

The New York Times meets the liar's paradox

Caught in Trump's trap

The liar says he tells the truth and those who call his lies are liars. Greeks rhetoricians called this device the liars paradox.

The New York Times explicitly acknowledged the liars paradox in a recent headline, “New Press Aid Vowed Never to Lie. That Was the First Lie” (May 2, 2020, print edition p. A22). But the Times quickly got cold feet, revising the headline for the digital edition to “‘I Will Never Lie to You,’ McEnany Says in First White House Briefing: But Kayleigh McEnany, the president’s fourth press secretary, found that vow tested almost immediately.”