Erica Hunt and Charles Bernstein on 'Brooklyn Rail' webcast
Erica Hunt and I were on the Brooklyn Rail’s lunchtime webcast, The New Social Environment. I talked with Rail publisher Phong Bui and I was the host for Erica’s show.
Erica Hunt on Brooklyn Rail’s New Social Environment
March 30, 2020: Chat
Hello from Brooklyn!
Hey everyone! Miko here from Ridgewood
Hi everyone from Chris in Detroit
Hey all, JC tuning in from CT
Hi All, Charlie in upstate NY
“Some people are high information, some are low information. I’m high information.”
I am in the middle lol
I love yoga impressions!
Remember to be embodied!
From time to time!
YES to cooking and yoga these days
Absolutely agree, body movement, and eating well
Keep that immune system strong!
Hi all from Brooklyn!
How words provide a lens into the present moment
Can’t believe people are doing that in here. awful.
The corporations are become the people
Yes someone is hacking program …
Hi everyone, the Rail is on it! Sorry for the interruption.
I heard the words “Trump 2020” Yikes
We just removed him
Mute everyone and disable their editing ability on the screen
“It’s the world we live in, voices invade and try to take over how we think”
Yes, voices intruding
Poets will always transcend hackers!!
“That’s not my paradise at all!”
Juveniles take away from this experience
It’s an annoyance, for sure, but our community is much stronger than one childish voice <3
Yes, sorry for these interruptions! And yes, this is recording.
LOVE that reading!
I feel stalled right now
Social intimacy, physical distancing
The war metaphors are quite annoying to me. I am an ICU nurse. I am not on the front. I am in the room.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the war language being used by Trump and Cuomo and others to describe the covid response. I was trying to think of a question to ask Erica about this …
Can I ask what is different about “on the front” as opposed to “in the room” for you ?
I think you’re on to something. These are language choices that are meant to shape our thinking, as Erica noted in the beginning of his convo
The front is a thing to be pushed, the room is where one dwells.
I wrote down from Erica’s “words” list: “The enemy is not someone else but in the air”
Love this idea making art out into a future.
What about C.S. Lewis
The idea of the enemy in the air is so interesting, how it ties back to miasma theory, the Ancient Greek idea of diseases being transmitted through bad air
I am also interested in the constructed link between a language of war and a language of contagion
If anyone has questions, feel free to share them!
Erica talked about “sitting with the grief” while writing Veronica. I would like to know more about how grief influences creativity for Erica.
Love this idea about the harmful misfit of warfare metaphors/also Charles about the misappropriation of Soviet terms of the bunker, and what she said about the language of commerce in emergency moment: “We are people, not customers, of the apocalypse.” I feel like there is a question here about lexicons of the apocalypse — theater of warfare, capital & the market, an imagine or real Soviet inheritance — what are alternative lexicons or language-systems for the apocalypse? What are other —potentially more radical or collectivist — metaphors that we should be using for this particular historical moment? The alternative societies/socialist states we might imagine speculatively — what language would that gov use?
I have video
Do you have any advice for poets attempting to write about their experiences of this pandemic? How do we write about this time without fetishizing a language of contagion?
I am muted!
Yes, we locked down settings so that only Rail team hosts can unmute members due to earlier interruptions.
“Going into areas of discomfort is the job of the artist.”
As we are all now behind walls, together, a viral solvent undoes our bordered imaginations. Discomfort calls for the good pause.
A beautiful and jarring image
Sounds like the beginning of a poem!
Erica, I know you often speak a lot about poetry as a place to rehearse the lives we want to live, the people we want to become. How do you think poetry has already prepared you for, and rehearsed you for this specific moment, if at all?
“Community work: the dues we pay for living”
You had briefly touched on the metaphor of this current situation regarding COVID and Environmental Issues would you be able to elaborate a little more on the similarities you see between these two things and how those languages overlap?
I love this idea of women’s lives as episodic
Is this the start of a new chapter, or an ending of an old chapter?
“And that’s how we finally look at a life in art”
Decameron, Arabian Nights, and what was the third book?
Lyn Hejinian, the avoidance of closure
‘The future is back and it sucks’ lol