Entries tagged with poetics

Entry 31: Generation

Generation n. 1 All of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively; ‘one of his generation’s finest songwriters.’ 1.1 The average period, generally considered to be about thirty years, in which children grow up, become adults, and have children of their own; ‘the same families have lived here for generations.’ 1.2 A set of members of a family regarded as a single step or stage in descent; as modifier, in combination ‘a third-generation Canadian.’ 1.3 A group of people of similar age involved in a particular activity; ‘a new generation of actors and directors.’ 1.4 A single stage in the development of a type of product or technology; ‘a new generation of rear-engined sports cars.’ 2 mass noun The production or creation of something; ‘methods of electricity generation’; ‘the generation of wealth.’ 2.1 The propagation of living organisms; procreation. Origin Middle English: via Old French from Latin generatio(n-), from the verb generare (see generate).

Oxford Living Dictionaries

Poetics as Value Thinking:
Transvaluations of Language Writing

Presented at Fondation des Etats-Unis, Paris
sponsored by Double Change/Ecole normale supérieure
15 March 2017

This lecture is a hybrid of two thought experiments—one, a discussion of the poetics of value that sees political economy and poetics as twin forms of historically specific making, linked discourses of the determination of value. The second is a proposal for the transvaluation of poetics, and specifically Language writing, as a prospective organization of poetic labor as a form of a “knowledge base” (adopted from information and digital theory). The notion that unites both is that poetry and poetics are forms not only of value making but value thinking—sites for the transvaluation of a general notion of value into particular values. … More

Poetics as Knowledge Base:
The Example of “Plan B”

Presented at the Louisville Conference
on Literature and Culture after 1900
24 February 2017

This paper is a thought experiment that reads experimental poetry and poetics in relation to the concept of “knowledge base”—even as poetic attempts to create a knowledge base itself. The making of poetry has always been attended by some kind of “lore,” the necessary but often obscure or intractable set of background knowledges and beliefs that are crucial for its understanding—T.S. Eliot’s notes to The Waste Land or Louis Zukofsky’s parallel texts for “Mantis” are modern examples of this. Historicism in poetics depends on accessing and developing this lore, which it extends to more nuanced contexts; at the same time, theory-based approaches creates a metadiscourse of key concepts that may become part of the knowledge base of poetics. From the romantics to the postmoderns, the construction of such a knowledge base is a necessary entailment of “the making of the work in its condition of possibility”—the task of poetics as a discourse. I want to look at a range of ways this knowledge base is represented and accessed, from the archiving of writings in poetics to modernist and postmodern concordances to major works (such as Zukofsky’s “A”) to online poetry/poetics archives to recent experimental methods. What would a rigorous use of the concept of “knowledge base” in computing and information theory bring to understanding poetics in such terms? … More

The Louisville Conference
on Literature and Culture since 1900
23–25 February 2017
University of Louisville

Alan Golding
George Hart
Jennifer Bartlett
Aldon Lynn Nielsen
Diana Rosenberger
Kelly Roy Polasek
Jill Darling
Erik Mortenson
cris cheek
Lisa Hollenbach
Jack Halberstam
Juliana Spahr
James Smethurst
Magdalena Zurawski
Norman Finkelstein
Tyrone Williams
… More

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Free Speech Movement
Ansel Adams
Allen Ginsberg
Black Panther Party
Robert Duncan
W.S. Merwin
Denise Levertov
Robert Creeley
Robert Grenier
1–10: “Non-Events”
… More

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Entry 25: 17 Reasons Why!

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Reason 1: Language writing should not be understood in merely formalist terms.

Reason 2: It is a consequence of the cultural logic of the period(s) in which it was written and has its influence.

Reason 3: But, we must ask, what is a cultural logic, and how many of them are there to name?

Reason 4: If Enlightenment is a cultural logic, not just an abstract universal, the poetics of this situation are yet to be found out.

Reason 5: It is not exaggerating to claim these debates have scarcely been engaged, and will continue past publication of this volume.

Reason 6: The relation of Language writing to identity is a major motivation, as is the question of free speech as liberationist goal. … More

Entry 24: 17 Reasons Why!

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17 Reasons Why! 

“17 Reasons Why!” is a key site in the cognitive map of San Francisco during the period in which Language writing emerged, the 1970s. The cryptic formula, for which no adequate explanation has been given, overlooked the Mission District at the intersection of 17th and Mission—and yet also seemed hardly to be there. Its address was always already iterative and non sequitur, always a prompt for questioning. I left the Bay Area before it came down in 2000, but it has a solid place in the firmament of urban legend, as in this article, from which we learn: “The 17 did refer to the fact the store stood on the corner of 17th Street. But what were the reasons? ‘People would ask what the 17 reasons were, and we would guff it off. There were no 17 reasons,’ [the former owner’s son] said.”

[To be contd.]

Announcing publication of
Questions of Poetics: Language Writing

and Consequences

 

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Questions of Poetics is full-on Watten, a book with sharp edges, relentless intelligence, and an unwavering conviction that the arts have serious work to do.”
—Peter Nicholls, author, George Oppen and the Fate of Modernism

Questions of Poetics represents a major statement by one of the highest profile poet-critics of the day. Its arguments concerning genre, form, particularity, and negativity represent a solid, easily grasped, portable way of thinking about the ongoingness of the avant-garde, its continual diversification and reinvention. Moreover, Watten offers a persuasive reappraisal of Language writing and its place in American literary history.”
—Brian Reed, author, Nobody’s Business: TwentyFirst Century Avant-Garde Poetics

Official release date: September 1, 2016. For the University of Iowa Press flyer, see here; for ordering options, see here.

Barrett Watten, “The Poet/Critic:
Transvaluations of Value after Modernism”
MSA, 20 November 2015

I continue my discussion of the poetics of value in modernism (Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams) in taking up political economy and poetics as twin forms of historically specific making, twin discourses of the determination of value. For poetics as value making, let me advance that the thirty-six individual essays in our recent Guide to Poetics Journal, along with the editorial and publication work involved in soliciting, editing, rethinking, and repurposing their content, counts as such. Each essay in our Guide—for example, Ron Silliman on “the parsimony principle,” George Lakoff on avant-garde framing, Susan Howe on Emily Dickinson, Lyn Hejinian on “the rejection of closure,” in the volume’s first section—demonstrates how poetry is a value-making activity, in giving value to it. … More