John Tranter

Under the horizon

Apple iBooks ...

Okay, I take it all back.

New iBooks, 2012
New iBooks, 2012

New iBooks, 2012: I have criticised the iBooks app (application) for its retarded concept of what to do with the first chapter in a paragraph. But I take it all back. In a recent review on MacWorld, a contributor (Lex Friedman, Senior Writer, Macworld Follow @lexfri) says:

Two bright new books of poetry

One from each side of the Atlantic!

Postmodern American Poetry, cover
Postmodern American Poetry, cover

Tess Somervell reviews The Salt Book of Younger Poets here.
A well-researched and rather dry look at the crop of bright new things in Britain:
There is not a poem among the three or four by each of the fifty poets in this anthology which is not in some way intelligent; dominant, however, is a specific type of intelligence, an intellectual self-indulgence of an almost metaphysical character. The grand abstract concept is less the order of the day than the local image stretched to its figurative limit, a brief moment teased out to fill a poem.
Only the British could reinvent metaphysical self-indulgence for the twenty-first century.

And someone should review the second edition of Paul Hoover’s immensely useful Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology.

Émile Benveniste in conversation with Pierre Daix, 1968

Paris in 1968

Paris riots, 1968
Paris riots, 1968

Structuralism and linguistics
Jacket 35: Émile Benveniste in conversation with Pierre Daix, 1968, translated by Matt Reeck.
Les événements — the “events”. Students dissatisfied with the policies of the De Gaulle government took to the streets in May 1968 in what are now referred to as the “events.” These protests shook the French government from the laissez faire policies of the previous thirty years. They mark the turning point of an intellectual ferment whose noteworthy members include the vanguard of post-structuralist, Feminist, psychoanalytic, and deconstructive thought — an intellectual renaissance that continues to define our era.
Read the rest of the interview in Jacket 35

Rimbaud in jeans

Émile Benveniste (1902–76) is among the most important French linguists of the twentieth century. His theory of enunciation — the “énoncé” and “énonciation” — argues persuasively that language is a social process. Also a pre-eminent historical linguist of Indo-European, he was elected to the Collège de France (the most prestigious intellectual post in France) in 1937 where he stayed until his retirement in 1969. You can read his work in Indo-European Language and Society (Faber and Faber, 1963) and in Problems in General Linguistics (University of Miami Press, 1971).

What was Flarf?

A Jacket 30 special feature

Flarf Blender
Flarf Blender

From Gary Sullivan’s Introduction in Jacket 30:

Flarf has been described as the first recognizable movement of the 21st century, as an in-joke among an elite clique, as a marketing strategy, and as offering a new way of reading creative writing. The act of writing flarf has been described as collaborating with the culture via the Web, as an imperialist or colonialist gesture, as an unexamined projection of self into others, as the conscious erasure of self or ego. Individual members have been described as brilliant, lazy, and smug, as satirists, fakes, and late-blooming Dadaists. One anonymous reader posting in someone’s blog comments box suggested that I be thrown into a wire cage at Bagram.

Very little of the discussion has dealt in any significant way with the work itself. While the collection that follows can hardly be called representative of five years’ of collective activity, it is hoped that it may provide a small window for anyone curious about what the Collective has been up to.

[»»] Gary Sullivan: Introduction
[»»] Anne Boyer: Three Poems: A Vindication of the Rights of Women / Mom’s Undiminished Lamb Jacket / Everything Nice Has a Crafted Satin Finish

Denise Levertov feature

In Jacket 36

Denise Levertov, 1923–1997: Photo by Jonathan Williams, 1957
Denise Levertov, 1923–1997: Photo by Jonathan Williams, 1957

Feature: Denise Levertov
Also see: Denise Levertov (poem): Eros, in Jacket 16
Also see: Robert J. Bertholf: From Robert Duncan’s Notebooks: On Denise Levertov, in Jacket 28
Also see: Robert J. Bertholf: The Robert Duncan / Denise Levertov Correspondence: Duncan’s View, in Jacket 28
Editor: Kevin Gallagher. From his Introduction:
Levertov had numerous careers as a poet, and each has made a lasting mark on a different poetry community. This collection has at least one discussion of each of these periods, except a discussion of her neo-Romantic British period. Here you can find memoirs and reflections on her work by friends, criticism by scholars and biographers who may have never known her, and tributes from afar.
Kevin Gallagher:Templum: Introduction to Denise Levertov Feature