Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Critical Constipation

I am the Human Torch er toking male of the FABULOUS FORUM mistermended Cathy Wagner / Christine Kennedy & will appear The Paper or The Jacket read through among the points made was that the dearth of critical commentary on women’s experimental writing in the UK participates in the uberdearth of critical commentary on experimental writing in the UK full stop & got to thinking, How bad is that? One reason for starting this blog & for supporting OCT through my pennail Keston Sutherland was to wield a clyster into the ambient taciturnity; but . . .

PRO. A slight impediment to the engorging ego a-go-go.

CON. It is frustrating for underdaguates trying to study contemporary poets. The insensible ones will give too much weight to whatever shabby little pile of reviews and scattered remarks they manage to shark up.

PRO. People who want to try out writing poetry can try out publishing it or reading it without fear of being torn to pieces. Meanwhile, conversations still happen.

PRO. This very tentatively. Maybe some of the work that’s being made is outstripping the available critical idioms. What do you think?


chris said...

Tentative and tricky. not sure. "dunno"... but depends on how contemporary poetry is related to the academic no? Poetry that is within the/ academy - in this sense critiscism is the lifeblood of contemporary poetry, as criticism historicises the poetry and gives it a validating context. Outside of academia I´m not sure how much criticism is needed to ´appreciate´ (jesus, what an awful word) poetry. Depends how much theory you carry round inside you in the first place as well. This is a crude division at best however. Besides, surely great poetry goes round the need for debate like this and is the place where the subjective and the critical meet. Nah. This was crystal when I was thinking it, fuck it.

Jow Lindsay said...

Yo Chris. I checked Week 2 yt MA: Thx poet on the Acamedy. The idea that great poetry “goes around” function of criticism problems – or even the idea that the “going aroundness” of a text, in the face of the insurmountable epistemological pollution infecting the discourse best set to valorise and/or expend it, is a plausible analysis of poetic greatness – maybe risks dogmatism; I think we’re faced with a kind of TEXTURED SPACE, wherein second-order texts (and third-order texts, and the second-order behaviours of poems not explicitly framed as lit crit, whatever – maximal second-orderishness, whatever that may be) have more power or less power over first-order texts, and different kinds of power, depending where you are in that space. Probably that’s vacuously obvious as well as convoluted, I just wonder if you can start to actually talk about what this landscape is like now, actually propose what the differences across zones might be. & part of the idea, I guess, being to avoid dropping into the opposite dogmatism, of poems as these empty, featureless bare particulars, totally determined by whatever qualities local power struggles dung them with. Scylla to left of me, Scylla to the right, here I am, there is no outside-the-text except, “John Muckle keeps browsing my bookshelf and asking if he can borrow books he wrote. They come back in a horrible state. Being kind to her all the time accumulates into this monstrous deception. Little Billy goes into his parents’ bedroom only to find Dad giving Mum one, Dad tells him to scram. Little Jamie. Later that night there’s a huge ruckus upstairs and Dad goes into Little Billy’s room to find little Billy giving his Gran one. Little Billy looks up and says, ‘Not so funny when it’s YOUR mum, is it?’”