Monday, June 11, 2012

A few more thoughts in response to AD Jameson's latest inquiry into sincerity.

I am again having trouble posting comments on HTML Giant, so I'm posting them here where nobody will read them.


Some Bits

1) I'll buy the Steve Roggenbuck connection, but I don't think Massey would buy it. You'll have to ask him.

2) If you examine the texts produced by Massey/Mister/Robinson as well as the Second Wave NS practitioners (Hart, Pritts, Lasky, et al), one thing becomes apparent. Massey's work seems the square peg here. That is, the tradition he is working in is decidedly different from where Andy and I situated ourselves. And even though I've made an effort to distance myself from the 2nd Wave, I'll admit that Andy and my work has more in common with these than Massey's even. Curiously, when talk of NS comes up, Massey is usually quoted--both his manifesto and his poetry. Joe is a good friend, and I say this not to cast aspersions but to point out the rather strange impression this gives of the poetry and the general thinking of the NS '05 as a whole.

3) Joe and I (and I'm guessing Andy) were weaned on Donald Allen's "New American Poetry" of 1960, and Paul Hoover's 1990 Norton Anthology of Post-Modern American Poetry. Far from rejecting Language or other "experimental" modes, I'd say we absorbed them, used them, learned from them. The objections we had toward the poetry zeitgeist of the mid-2000s was not simply the emphasis on artifice or experiment or text-as-text. It was against something harder to pin down--what we felt was a lack of feeling, of soul, behind the text.

4) I find the aleatory stylings of John Cage much more soulful than (insert name of mid-career 30-40something poet here). It's not the tools or the materials. It's the animating force behind them.

5) It's hard to quantify, to pin down "feeling" in a text. This poses a problem for the academic, who, trapped in a post-new criticism hangover that will not go away, focuses on the text itself to the exclusion of the context in which it exists or existed.

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