“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, March 22, 2013

Subject to Change Liveblog 2

"Poems and Things"

Kevin Holden (Yale), “Allotropic Series” 

poetry’s relation to the nonhuman
<< poetry nonparaphraseable
<< poetry autotelic

>> analysis of Clark Coolidge, Space (1970) and The Crystal Text (1986), Christian Bok, Crystallography

“the crystal cannot speak 
the good book cannot speak”

writing at the crystal and off it
the poet speaks at the crystal but the crystal is dumb and cannot speak back
line breaks as cracks in the poem’s surface

“writing that leaves things alone”
“closed voice”
poem as a thing, an inorganic organism

not that poems can’t mean or can’t be thought
poetry is and operates by a supersaturation of meaning (it is ALL meaning)
something remains hard and nonhuman, irreducible to consciousness

otherness, singularity arise from the words themselves
logically impossble condition in which each word is equally important
Mandelstam: poetry’s hyperkinetic energy; poem can’t be flattened or exchanged
meaning separable from physiological effects

Wittgenstein: philosophers who think that thought can extend experience should think about the fact that you can transmit talk but not measles by telephone

Vorticism: “art of the energized present”
Pound: poetry as “the radiant node or cluster from which and through which and into which ideas are constantly rushing”
Tzara: nothing more can be said about art

Celan: the perfect, the puppet, and the monster esp the Medusa (who turns the human to stone)
poems as intensifications of language

Andrew Jaron: nonlinear dynamics of complex systems: self-organizing (autopoetic)
the lute, singing of its own accord
>> poetic autonomy
creation recreates destruction as an opening to otherness

a poem is a crystal as it is autonomous

Bogost on wonder: Iris the messenger who couples earth and heavens
this is what poetry does, connecting the human and the nonhuman because it’s always part object
“the need to have humility about the knowledge we do not possess”
Francis Bacon: the seat of knowledge and broken knowledge
a science attached to nothing, a knowledge without knowledge

negative capability: a formal logic and a form of thought about nothing
an emergent self-generating science, curling on itself

“to wonder is to respect things as things in themselves” (Bogost)

poetry already does relieve one of the “crushing correlational system” (Harman)
there is a dimension of poetry happening all the time that is already unreifying the relation to the other

poetry reifies the living and unreifies the frozen (as Celan shows in Meridian)

Joran and Bogost both say that humanism and criticism no longer wonder, ceding that to science
but poetry always already does

Christian Bok, Crystallography, his first book (1994)
all kinds of concrete poems, lattice poems
a clear page of plastic that overlaps the page
an unnumbered crystal page; a thing that one does not merely read but sees through

how do concrete poetry and lyric poetry relate?

are the nonhuman and the nonparaphrasable the same thing?

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