The Poetics of Re-use

A discussion space and materials base for the reading/talk, "The Poetics of Re-use," with Brian Howe and Buck Downs, as part of the In Your Ear reading series, curated by Adam Good and Cathy Eisenhower.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

my presentation

I didn't prepare any notes or text, so I don't have anything to post. Typical.

But these many days past, & two ideas are still sticking with me from what I said:

-- A counter-positioning of the poetic project away from the default vanguardism of the last 200 years, toward an explicit salvage op enacted in a context of material plenty. It is in fact the self-congratulatory success of material plenty in pax americana that makes this salvage op necessary, worthwhile, and fun.

-- A "delusion of influence" described in the work and life of Ted Berrigan; another counter-position, this time in relief of the now-famous "anxiety of influence". Anxiety as a manifestation of neurosis is palpably absent in Berrigan's poetry, and derivation as an aspect of the work is cheerfully exploited rather than nervously contextualized. ["thank god I derive" -- Anselm Hollo]. I think psychosis is a more fruitful model than neurosis to display how the numerous feints and forays into the "vast library" and "academy of the future" are accepted and made to contribute to the poet's activity as salvage artificer.


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