Tuesday, August 04, 2009

On Shelley's Birthday

This weekend, I was in New York to do a reading in Brooklyn, and I got my first chance to talk in depth to Nada Gordon, a member of the Flarf Collective. It was a stimulating, if invective-laden, conversation, but my opinion remains unchanged— I don't think that flarf makes for the creation of memorable (or even coherent) poetry, and I fail to see how it adds (as Warhol and Koons don't add) to the Duchamp paradigm (of the "ready-made") that was put into place one-hundred years ago. It's presented again here, in a mystifying fashion, as something new: anti-art. How retrograde is it to want to produce a durable body of work? Most manifestations of a post-modern sensibility encourage a sense of ephemerality, transience, "positive obsolescence." Post-modernists often tend to adopt the opinion that any other mode of perception is backwards; though, if the tide turns in my direction, this theoretical approach may itself be perceived as junky and corny. Anti-art is junky and corny. And here I am developing a new philosophy of readings.


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