Mud and the poetics of art history

Lytle Shaw's "New Grounds for Dutch Landscape"

Jan van Goyen, Landscape with Two Oaks, 1641, Rijksmuseum.  Photo by the author.
Jan van Goyen, Landscape with Two Oaks, 1641, Rijksmuseum. Photo by the author.

What, then, would a "poetics" of art writing look like, one which is responsible to the facts of the matter, yet still laying the field open for extravagations and speculations? 

New Grounds for Dutch Landscape
Lytle Shaw
OEI editör, 2021, 304 pages, $19.95, ISBN 9789188829085

Secure that delicate passage

On Hajar Hussaini's "Disbound"

Before the first poem of Afghan poet Hajar Hussaini’s debut collection Disbound, Hussaini already resists the limits of the book’s form, positioning her text in a conflict between sequence and chaos, what is threaded together and what imminently, and presently, comes apart.

Hajar Hussaini

University of Iowa Press, 2022, 77 pages, $19.95, ISBN 9781609388676

In the presence of absence

A review of Annette Gilbert’s ‘Literature’s Elsewheres’

In the presence of absence

Whether you call it poetry, experimental — non-retinal — appropriation — propositional — or site-specific literature, conceptual writing, a constellation of literary practices, an “instantiated entity,” an otherness, or an elsewhere . . . the literary works presented in Gilbert’s book “reflect upon and performatively test the actual, literal conditions of their existence.”

Literature’s Elsewheres
Annette Gilbert
The MIT Press 2022, 432 pages, $34.95, ISBN 9780262543415


language becomes an infinite museum, whose center is everywhere and whose limits are nowhere.

Robert Smithson, 1968[1]

Contradictory equivalents

A review of Vincent Broqua’s ‘Recovery’

Vincent Broqua’s first book in English — I hasten to specify that it would be much more appropriate to say in “expanded English,” since the work is a linguistic hybrid in more than one way — is the perfect demonstration that US and English-speaking interest in French writing is still very lively, if not intense. Not necessarily in the domain of mainstream prose fiction, but undoubtedly in the smaller but infinitely much more exciting field of cutting-edge experimental writing, of which this publication is a superb as well as extreme example.

In The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading (2018), Edmund White, a longtime lover of France and French literature and culture, makes en passant the following observation: “Mine was probably the last American generation that took France seriously. We wanted to learn the language, the fashions, the heritage. We learned to cook French from Julie Child, to think French from Michel Foucault, to dress French in whatever stylish Parisian way we could afford.

Who wouldn’t?

CoReflecting OnWith

“We Want It All” editors Andrea Abi-Karam (left) and Kay Gabriel (right). Photo: Lix Z.

There they are now. — Zack de la Rocha, “We Want it All” 

At times we resist to exist — in order to.

And yes, We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, coedited by Andrea Abi-Karam and Kay Gabriel, “a collection of formally inventive writing by trans poets against capital and empire.”