What is the place of individual genius in a global world of hyper-informationa a world in which, as Walter Benjamin predicted more than seventy years ago, everyone is potentially an author? For poets in such a climate, qoriginalityq begins to take a back seat to what can be done with other peopleas wordsaframing, citing, recycling, and otherwise mediating available words and sentences, and sometimes entire texts. Marjorie Perloff here explores this intriguing development in contemporary poetry: the embrace of qunoriginalq writing. Paradoxically, she argues, such citational and often constraint-based poetry is more accessible and, in a sense, qpersonalq than was the hermetic poetry of the 1980s and 90s. Perloff traces this poetics of qunoriginal geniusq from its paradigmatic work, Benjaminas encyclopedic Arcades Project, a book largely made up of citations. She discusses the processes of choice, framing, and reconfiguration in the work of Brazilian Concretism and Oulipo, both movements now understood as precursors of such hybrid citational texts as Charles Bernsteinas opera libretto Shadowtime and Susan Howeas documentary lyric sequence The Midnight. Perloff also finds that the new syncretism extends to language: for example, to the French-Norwegian Caroline Bergvall writing in English and the Japanese Yoko Tawada, in German. Unoriginal Genius concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmithas conceptualist book Trafficaa seemingly qpureaq radio transcript of one holiday weekendas worth of traffic reports. In these instances and many others, Perloff shows us qpoetry by other meansq of great ingenuity, wit, and complexity.She discusses the processes of choice, framing, and reconfiguration in the work of Brazilian Concretism and Oulipo, both movements now understood as precursors of such hybrid citational texts as Charles Bernsteinas opera libretto ...
|Publisher||:||University of Chicago Press - 2010-12-01|