Pataquerical Ballad, with Runa Bandyopadhyay

image by Susan Bee

Pataquerical Ballad by Runa Bandyopadhyay and Charles Bernstein. A two-volume set, one in English and one in Bengali. The English consists of Bandyopadhyay's performative commentary and set of inventive "fits" responding from and extending Bernstein's "The Pataquerical Imagination: Midrashic Antinomianism and the Promise of Bent Studies" in Pitch of Poetry, along with the original essay. The Bengali volume also includes Bandyopadhyay's essay  and a translation of the "The Pataquerical Imagination.

From Sopan Books, Kolkata.  
Digital version of the English language volume at Amazon for $4 and hardound book for $20 (note: different Amazon links)

The book comes as a sparkling thought-experiment in undoing and unhinging poetry and poetics: Bernstein- Bandyopadhyay jugalbandi is a play where the event of thinking and Acts of thoughtful radicality create entanglements and creative-critical perturbations to outstanding effect. A distinct achievement in transmediality of critical poetics. 
--Ranjan Ghosh

The Pataquerical Ballad might call to mind the Lyrical Ballads of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge — at least insofar as this ‘ballad’ by Runa Bandyopadhyay and Charles Bernstein constitutes a manifesto about a newer idiom of poetry, one that frees the Imagination from the ‘formalities’ of language in a single, higher culture. Here the Vedic meets the ludic, in a series of pataphysical speculations about poetry (all of which strive to provide ‘imaginary solutions’ to the problem of what goes unsaid in language — which is to say the ineffable itself).
—Christian Bök

cover images by Susan Bee.

photo below from Kolkata book fair:

Charles Bernstein is a major poet who has traveled the rough road in search of innovation. His poetry has provoked controversy and conflict. Bernstein is also a leading thinker and essayist. His essay "The Pataquerical Imagination, " collected in the book Pitch of Poetry, is, as the title suggests, based on Alfred Jarry's pataphysics. Pataphysics is the "science" that explores the fields neglected by physics and metaphysics and works with exceptions. Let's say that poetry itself would be an exception, but it mostly isn't: much of what is written unfortunately follows  the rules of a lyrical tradition. The public always expects art to make the same sense, to be easy to understand and to be “edifying." Bernstein and Runa Bandyopadhyay allow poetry to take on other meanings. That's why Bandyopadhyay translated Bernstein's essay into Bengali, a language spoken by 250 million people in West Bengal, India and Bangladesh. Bandyopadhyay, a complex mind, is not only a translator, but also a poet. And also a very original interpreter of poetry. That's why she has produced her own reflections on the translated essay, as a kind of replica. It's a cliché to say that translation is a dialog. Translation reveals a kind of malaise in both the source language and the target language. The poems and words would not be enough in their original languages. All the words would be there to be integrated into translations. On the other hand, this book promotes the meeting of American "pragmatism" with the mystical richness of India, even though Bandyopadhyay is also a scientist. We should also note the role of American culture as a "modernizer" of cultures around the world. But, in the specific case of this book, what is being promoted is a genuine dialog.
––Régis Bonvicino

More from Bandyopadhyay:
"Bernstein’s Jewish Dharmma: An Upanishadic Quantum Poetics," Jacket 2 (2020)
“Pataquericalism: Quantum Coherence between the East and West,” boundary 2 (2021)
Review of Topsy-Turvy in Sybil (2021)


Milton Mancha, Bombai, launch of Pataquerical Ballad, with Runa Bandyopadhyay
Full event, intro by Pronab-Kumar-Dey and Robin Seguy, reading, Susan Bee slide presentation:
Seguy intro (8:42): mov
Bernstein/Bandyopadhyay bilingual reading (20:02): mov
Full event (with Bee's presentation) (102:33): MP4