|wood s lot february 16 - 29, 2008|
Feed My Mind
Light breaks where no sun shines; Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart Push in their tides; And, broken ghosts with glow-worms in their heads, The things of light File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones. A candle in the thighs Warms youth and seed and burns the seeds of age; Where no seed stirs, The fruit of man unwrinkles in the stars, Bright as a fig; Where no wax is, the candle shows its hairs. Dawn breaks behind the eyes; From poles of skull and toe the windy blood Slides like a sea; Nor fenced, nor staked, the gushers of the sky Spout to the rod Divining in a smile the oil of tears. Night in the sockets rounds, Like some pitch moon, the limit of the globes; Day lights the bone; Where no cold is, the skinning gales unpin The winter's robes; The film of spring is hanging from the lids. Light breaks on secret lots, On tips of thought where thoughts smell in the rain; When logics dies, The secret of the soil grows through the eye, And blood jumps in the sun; Above the waste allotments the dawn halts. - Dylan Thomas
Of Useless Books
STULTIFERA NAVIS (Ship of Fools)
They say journalists provide the first draft of history. With the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, that draft led to an almost universal consensus, at least among Americans, that the attack was a justifiable act of self-defense. The Afghanistan action is commonly viewed as a "clean" conflict as well -- a war prosecuted with minimal loss of life, and one that didn't bring the kind of international opprobrium onto the United States that the invasion of Iraq would lead to a year later.
The more vulgar apologists for U.S. and Israeli crimes solemnly explain that, while Arabs purposely kill people, the U.S. and Israel, being democratic societies, do not intend to do so. Their killings are just accidental ones, hence not at the level of moral depravity of their adversaries. (...)
William Degouve de Nuncques
A special feature in the latest Drunken Boat
The War in My HeadRon Padgett - Poems
In Memory of Blind Thomas of Old Takoma
I Remember Blind Joe Death
The paper describes four large-scale projects—Google Book Search, Microsoft Live Search Books, Open Content Alliance, and the Million Book Project—and their digitization strategies. It then discusses a range of issues affecting the stewardship of the digital collections they create: selection, quality in content creation, technical infrastructure, and organizational infrastructure. The paper also attempts to foresee the likely impacts of large-scale digitization on book collections.
The Old Bridge At Fountains Abbey
Veronica Forrest-Thomson and High ArtificeApproaching the LibraryFive Poems
Brian Kim Stefans
One of the misfortunes of the lack of attention being paid to English poetry of this century is the obscurity of Veronica Forrest-Thomson, a poet who died in 1975 at the age of 27. Forrest-Thomson is the author of Poetic Artifice, a book that outlined a theory of poetry from a critical perspective — i.e. a tool to determine the success or failure of a poem rather then merely a vocabulary for describing the phenomenon of a "poem" — but one which, rather than confirming or resisting a "tradition," concentrated on those elements of the poem that resist quick interpretation or, in her terms, "naturalization" by the reader or critic.Collected Poems and Translations
Simplicity can only be got through complexity of technique as it is only by ‘‘thickening” the imaginative webs of formal pattern that poetry can criticise or present imaginative alternatives to the world of everyday language. Criticism’s first duty is to follow and stress the complexities and only after this is done to say, if necessary, genius is simplicity.
The Amazing Staircase
The Harper government is seeking to prolong Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan. So far, Canada has spent six years, billions of dollars, 78 young lives (many more wounded) and inflicted unknown casualties on that country.
The United States is funding and in many cases arming the three ethnic factions in Iraq - the Kurds, the Shiites and the Sunni Arabs. These factions rule over partitioned patches of Iraqi territory and brutally purge rival ethnic groups from their midst. Iraq no longer exists as a unified state. It is a series of heavily armed fiefdoms run by thugs, gangs, militias, radical Islamists and warlords who are often paid wages of $300 a month by the U.S. military. Iraq is Yugoslavia before the storm. It is a caldron of weapons, lawlessness, hate and criminality that is destined to implode. And the current U.S. policy, born of desperation and defeat, means that when Iraq goes up, the U.S. military will have to scurry like rats for cover.
Now, in the midst of the surge, the Bush administration has done an about-face. Having lost the civil war, many Sunnis were suddenly desperate to switch sides — and Gen. David Petraeus was eager to oblige. The U.S. has not only added 30,000 more troops in Iraq — it has essentially bribed the opposition, arming the very Sunni militants who only months ago were waging deadly assaults on American forces. To engineer a fragile peace, the U.S. military has created and backed dozens of new Sunni militias, which now operate beyond the control of Iraq's central government. The Americans call the units by a variety of euphemisms: Iraqi Security Volunteers (ISVs), neighborhood watch groups, Concerned Local Citizens, Critical Infrastructure Security. The militias prefer a simpler and more dramatic name: They call themselves Sahwa, or "the Awakening."
Military power, that is, functions in America the way state religion has functioned in other societies. The Pentagon is the temple of this religion. It has dogmas, rituals, high priesthood, saints, cults of sacrifice, sacred language and a justifying narrative - what theologians call "salvation history."(...)
from Elephant & Obelisk Tony Tost Where faith is lacking there is a sentence against the boundary's chest it is clear disappearing within its own bliss seduction's violence desires a forest, an infant, a war a dawn for each work of creation to suffer I have developed methods displaying my nearest thoughts for the transcendence of their repulsiveness to read my lives more quickly each appears to believe me & perform its roar a real life can endure even more not a foundry though foundries are contained within emotional atmospheres color the given I work through my boredom with a tremble an immediate connection to the spectacle
Reading at the Kelly Writers House, February 5, 2008from
portions of this event were recorded on video
Rachel Blau DuPlessis
Corrupt systems thrive (and count on) high noise to signal ratios—disinformation, glut, chatter, “anything to keep the populace distract’d, minds off the problems of the day.” What I fear—brought out by considering With + Stand’s first issue, in some ways an applaudable first—is that we ironists, chatterers, media hounds, collectors of civic debris and popular curios, we norteamericano poets of the relentless ever-burgeoning imperium—that we do no more than add noise into an already noise-stopped-up system.
The market mentality in the cultural sphere creates such an economy of power and speed that magazines might be thought to be the most negligible elements of what's going on. It is not the cosmos that matters, it is the stars: cash desks, platforms, best-seller lists, ceremonies, mega-events, billboards, advertisements – the media glitz that also casts its light on culture and envelopes everything in its protective aura. This is naturally a mechanism that can bypass the varied universes of magazines to sell values without having to create them first. It is the force that puts excessive agendas on the market with its rashness and its tumultuous style. Consequently, it is getting more and more difficult to hear the rhythm of the world of magazines, which are meanwhile themselves having trouble making out the sound of their own voices.
It has recently become fashionable to insist on an impending energy crisis. This euphemistic term conceals a contradiction and consecrates an illusion. It masks the contradiction implicit in the joint pursuit of equity and industrial growth. It safeguards the illusion that machine power can indefinitely take the place of manpower. To resolve this contradiction and dispel this illusion, it is urgent to clarify the reality that the language of crisis obscures: high quanta of energy degrade social relations just as inevitably as they destroy the physical milieu.
... when the line goes down we are returned to the hinc et nunc of our physical circumstances without the phatic niceties (“thanks for calling, see you soon”) that not only provide formal closure and break our communicative contract but prepare us for the psychic shock of being alone once more. But, as all who use this technology will know, in the event of disconnection, as the signal strength dies and the state of full, pristine connectivity bleeds into a rebarbative silence, a transitional sonic disfiguration occurs: the voice of the interlocutor suffers violent torsions, a garbled – oddly aquatic – strangulation. What happens here?
"I don't think the book business in this country, as a business model, has worked for anybody. ... Ann Arbor is a wonderful book community, and so this is a good place to play with that, to experiment with new (business) models." - Shaman Drum owner Karl Pohrt.
Benjamin’s essay on photography ends on a somber but beautiful note by being more concerned with the future of its authenticity and legibility, with a certain illiteracy of not knowing how to interpret the language of photography. But like the Atget photographs that reminded Benjamin of scenes of crime, photography deserts its own place and settles into the inscriptional, the captional.  In short, Benjamin is eager to demonstrate the redemptive power of photography as something that “should be free to stake a claim for ephemeral things, those that have a right ‘to a place in the archives of memory,’” and here his theory bears a marked resemblance to Kracauer’s overall theory of photography and film, who will pen the following in the “Preface” to his book, Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality:Transformations Issue No. 15My book … rests upon the assumption that film is essentially an extension of photography and therefore shares with this medium a marked affinity for the visible world around us. Films come into their own when they record and reveal physical reality…. And since any medium is partial to the things it is uniquely equipped to render, the cinema is conceivably animated by a desire to picture transient material life, life at its most ephemeral. (ix, emphasis mine)The idea of redemption therefore lies in the hope to hold on “to the small skip or crack in the continuous catastrophe” (Benjamin, cited in Habermas 38). The auratic, the mythical, and the distant vision of the world are already so remote from us that we stare at them as they stare back at us vacantly. For all purposes the magic is lost. Looking into these eyes only proves the point that there is hardly anything to look for in them. With modernity, each one of us, in the cities, is weary of eye contact.
Walter Benjamin and the Virtual: Politics, Art, and Mediation in the Age of Global Culture
The Space of LiteratureFrom the translator's introduction:
Translated, with an Introduction, by Ann Smock
Writing begins with Orpheus's gaze. And this gaze is the movement of desire that shatters the song's destiny, that disrupts concern for it, and in this inspired and careless decision reaches the origin, consecrates the song. But in order to descend toward this instant, Orpheus has to possess the power of art already. This is to say: one writes only if one reaches that instant which nevertheless one can only approach in the space opened by the movement of writing. To write, one has to write already. In this contradiction are situated the essence of writing, the snag in the experience, and inspiration's leap.download here
Like the daily lives they portray, they slip unnoticed past our consciousness and beyond the reach of memory. During the next street-digging project, the sidewalks will be broken up and carted in unrecognizable chunks to a landfill, even as new sidewalks are being laid down.
Typo 7: Swedish InvasionFrom "Mozart's Third Brain" Göran Sonnevi Translated from the Swedish by Rika Lesser LXXX Dance is born out of the deepest interior of our bodies As if the light there were streaming out, out of each body part's smallest movement We hear gasping breaths We behold mouths open in trance Out of them light also issues, in the whirling darkness The stone falls through millennia The clear water's darkness deeper and deeper But the vanishing is only apparent The construction of enormity grows and grows In its transparency Pain's nadir, deeper and deeper At its zenith Identification with pain, annihilation of pain, is impossible And yet it's there Like the entrance into darkness May I touch your darkness? I would so like to Forms of power move in the invisible Even the anti-empire has power, I understand Together we have the power to sublate power, I im- agined once Even if only within ourselves But there is no way to place oneself outside Night has no limit It is toward infinity I want to go Unimaginably What takes place in this thinking substance? The play of the mind's faculties, the dance, across the inner, shimmering surfaces For me there was no limit For me there is no limit, except at the instant of snapping, even were it endlessly stretched We will meet in the silence, after the dance What does the voice communicate? As if I never knew in advance It comes with all its potentials Invisible Out of its fold, foldings, a face peers as if it were Harlequin-Mozart The great darkness of the eyes! Also their smile Quick, friendly We can be like that too My vision is now given to the Eye-Brain Yours, you who look at me, out of your femininity, half turned away, almost with your back to me So that we will not burn up? I hear your voice It exists in the vast play of the voices, their light What kind of movement up from death? Is such a thing possible at all? A flame rises from the ashes, dances, offers itself, its body in its moments of stillness, a prayer Coiling into itself Unwinding again Returning to the ruins of silence
Morning in the Village After Snowstorm
Attritions by Steve McCaffery To write is to kill, that's all Blanchot essorer, autoriser, liquéfier, cancaner, the burning ice which was of course the body between paradox inside a tent of skin unwrapping organs with two eyes they call (our) planets in orbit around lost saturday's rotisseries and we'll all be graduate students forever in phonetic manners metaclosure remembering parks forget their golf course mandates in penumbra the homeless settle in as antimatter at the same time a labyrinth of flint hits syntax as a throat tongue and six teeth form a hebrew letter meaning aids intellect and capital in drag
A Conversation with Andrew Moore
My sense is that our perception of the world, as influenced by the rapid evolution of information technology, directs us away from history and the past. It's as though we view reality through a speeding car: the future, which is rushing toward us, appears immediate and vivid, while the past, which can only be viewed through the mirror, falls away into blurriness and quickly vanishes. I believe that if artists are engaged with the past, in whatever manner they choose, it can facilitate the ability to see a continuum between previous forms and the yet evolving contemporary ones. And if the dilemma of the cliché ultimately turns on the act of perception, then anything that helps the artist to see his/her subject in the state of "becoming" (and once formalized, permits the viewer to "re-perceive" this subject) is indeed a valuable tool.Russia: Beyond Utopia
by Boris Fishman (Foreword), Andrew Moore (Photographer)
reviewed by Jörg Colberg
Not violent individuals, but violent situations—this is what a micro-sociological theory is about. We seek the contours of situations, which shape the emotions and acts of the individuals who step inside them. It is a false lead to look for types of violent individuals, constant across situations. A huge amount of research has not yielded very strong results here.Violence, Up Close and Personal
A sociologist challenges prevailing theories of when, and why, people lash out
You talk about panic firing during military combat, and firing among troops. And in an analogy you draw, you also find a lot of panicked firing and incompetent shooting among gang members, and only a few people taking part. We've got sort of a sieve that goes down by two levels. The first level is whether people are actually engaged in the violence, whether it's shooting guns or throwing punches. Then there's the second level of how competent they are at it: whether they actually hit what they intended, whether they hit anything. … That's true in the case of cops and robbers — both sides — as well as in the Army. U.S. forces have been trained to try to overcome this nonfiring problem [by doing] a huge amount of firing, and so it's not too surprising that in that situation bystanders get hit. Many cases of police violence that look like serious atrocities — Like Rodney King. Yes, Rodney King, or the Amadou Diallo case — they look so shocking because the violence seems like a huge overkill. But I think the mechanism that's operative there isn't so much that they are motivated to try and severely hurt or humiliate this person, but rather that they are caught up in this pattern I call "forward panic" — similar to the panic of running away, except it's a panic running forward, or shooting at your enemy.
Green trucks white nights
The general intellect is the patriarch of a family of concepts that are more numerous and cover a wide range of issues: the knowledge economy, cognitive capitalism, collective intelligence, creative class, knowledge sharing and Postfordism. In the last few years the related tools that have enriched the political lexicon were circulated amongst ourselves and left us wondering about their exact usefulness. For the sake of simplicity, we only accounted for the terms that inherited an Enlightenment, angelic and almost neo-gnostic approach. But reality is much more complex and we wait for new forms to claim for themselves the role that within the same field is due to desire, body, aesthetics, biopolitics.(...)
The shell game of principles versus values defines the parameters of the only debate that the later Habermas considers worthwhile. Conversations with Rawls and Rorty—‘the heirs of Jefferson’—boil down to justifying the writ of liberal democracy in different idioms. Acknowledgment that ‘the idea of a just and peaceful cosmopolitan order lacks any historical and philosophical support’ does not deter Habermas from concluding that there is no alternative to striving for its realization, even if its military expressions, for all their good will, so far leave something to be desired. The suspicion that such wishful thinking might preclude historical and philosophical comprehension of the real world has been successfully kept at bay. Habermas recently wrote of Herbert Marcuse that he believed he had to introduce a vocabulary that could only open eyes clouded to realities that had grown invisible ‘by bathing apparently unfamiliar phenomena in a harsh counterlight’. But reconstructing this forgotten language, and learning how to speak it, is the sole vocation of a theory that is genuinely critical.
The A to Z of Literary Translation: A to C
Sovereign is he who decides on the exception.
Legality and Legitimacy
Trans. Jeffrey Seitzer
Lee Friedlander: A Ramble in Olmsted Parks
‘And Their Winter and Night in Disguise’ George Oppen The sea and a crescent strip of beach Show between the service station and a deserted shack A creek drains thru the beach Forming a ditch There is a discarded super-market cart in the ditch That beach is the edge of a nation There is something like shouting along the highway A California shouting On the long fast highway over the California mountains Point Pedro Its distant life It is impossible the world should be either good or bad If its colors are beautiful or if they are not beautiful If parts of it taste good or if no parts of it taste good It is as remarkable in one case as the other As against this We have suffered fear, we know something of fear And of humiliation mounting to horror The world above the edge of the foxhole belongs to the flying bullets, leaden superbeings For the men grovelling in the foxhole danger, danger in being drawn to them These little dumps The poem is about them Our hearts are twisted In dead men’s pride Dead men crowd us Lean over us In the emplacements The skull spins Empty of subject The hollow ego Flinching from the war’s huge air Tho we are delivery boys and bartenders We will choke on each other Minds may crack But not for what is discovered Unless that everyone knew And kept silent Our minds are split To seek the danger out From among the miserable soldiers
I do tell people in private conversations that there are other ways of making ends meet, and that writing often doesn't work when you try to force it. People usually understand that. I also make sure to tell everybody that it is extremely important to have a profession besides writing, no matter what job it is. There are certain professions that are more suitable than others, as a parallel to this kind of work. Being a doctor, for example, won't hurt. Whereas being a dentist is not so good. You know, as a dentist you always look into the same mouths and see the same holes. You never hear anything from the patients, because they sit there like this [pulls his mouth wide open and continues sentence in mock constrained voice], and they cannot say anything. Whereas as a physician you receive valuable insight into social contexts, family stories, personal problems, that is a lot of material. Well, and the best thing probably is to be a notary. Hereditary matters. Nowhere can you see as clearly how human beings work than where money is concerned. But on the whole it doesn't really matter what you are, be it an insurance agent or a teacher or whatever - you just have to have something that will free you from the burden of having to write something every day.at Vertigo
via Three Percent
via bookish monkey
The decline of places like Windy Ridge and Franklin Reserve is usually attributed to the subprime-mortgage crisis, with its wave of foreclosures. And the crisis has indeed catalyzed or intensified social problems in many communities. But the story of vacant suburban homes and declining suburban neighborhoods did not begin with the crisis, and will not end with it. A structural change is under way in the housing market—a major shift in the way many Americans want to live and work. It has shaped the current downturn, steering some of the worst problems away from the cities and toward the suburban fringes. And its effects will be felt more strongly, and more broadly, as the years pass. Its ultimate impact on the suburbs, and the cities, will be profound.(...)
Poems by Denise LevertovSojourns in the Parallel World We live our lives of human passions, cruelties, dreams, concepts, crimes and the exercise of virtue in and beside a world devoid of our preoccupations, free from apprehension--though affected, certainly, by our actions. A world parallel to our own though overlapping. We call it "Nature"; only reluctantly admitting ourselves to be "Nature" too. Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions, our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute, an hour even, of pure (almost pure) response to that insouciant life: cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing pilgrimage of water, vast stillness of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane, animal voices, mineral hum, wind conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering of fire to coal--then something tethered in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free. No one discovers just where we've been, when we're caught up again into our own sphere (where we must return, indeed, to evolve our destinies) --but we have changed, a little. - Denise Levertov
All who try to theorise community - ways of being-together - face the difficulty of negotiating what I refer to rather awkwardly as the integrative/differentiating dilemma.(...)
Dent du Midi
I found the event depressing and slightly creepy. I’ve been to enough of these sorts of things to realize the trajectory is always the same: respect is paid, then the knives come out.Shaman Drum Bookshop
founded by Karl Pohrt
There Is No Gap
Shaman Drum: Behind the scenes
Introduction to the catalog of the exhibition, The Photographer's Eye [PDF]... introduced the work of Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand and William Eggleston, secured the lasting reputations of Walker Evans, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams and Andre Kertesz and rediscovered the forgotten French master Eugene Atget. Moreover, Mr. Szarkowski was the most influential photography critic of his time, writing several books now considered classics, including "The Photographer's Eye" (1966) and "Looking at Photographs" (1973).
The sense of the picture's edge as a cropping device is one of the qualities of form that most interested the inventive painters of the latter nineteenth century. To what degree this awareness came from photography, and to what degree from oriental art, is still open to study. However, it is possible that the prevalence of the photographic image helped prepare the ground for an appreciation of the Japanese print, and also that the compositional attitudes of these prints owed much to habits of seeing which stemmed from the scroll tradition.(...)
Winesap from Barn
Translators are well aware – maybe all too aware - of the fraught nature of their endeavor, and their prose (intro, afterword) is often marked by a startling and even embarrassingly frank discussion of merits, and a disavowal of grand ambition that is singular in the world of letters. Translators strike me as similar to anthropologists in their deep knowledge of their own hubris, with a sometimes paralyzing recognition of how context dictates worth and credibility. I like this statement by Ronald Knox, English translator of the classics, writing fifty-plus years ago: “The translator must do his best by using the speech that comes natural to him, fortified a little by those good old English words which are out of favour, but not obsolete. His style must be his own, his rhetoric and his emphasis must be that of his original. And always, at the back of his mind, he must imagine that he is the original. Can he hope, in any case, that his version will live? At least, if he does his work well, he will have the comfort of being pirated by his successors” . So, translators realize that their endeavor lives – for now. They know that it is in fact a wonder that their effort appears in your hands at all (more about this later).
These things are on your mind as you sleep: (1) a landscape (2) two bodies (that is: one animal and one human) (3) the car. The landscape includes the rain. The car includes the bottle. The human includes the eye and the hand. The animal includes the idea of mortality. The rain includes the soldier. The bottle includes the idea of Albania. The eye includes the mother. The hand includes the wall. The idea of mortality includes the witness. The soldier includes the father, the idea of Bulgaria the names, the mother the end, the wall the moment, the witness the shot, and the shot the shot.(...)
The Album of my Life ; Photo-Album, 1963
Even as enjoyment is exaltation - already the enjoyment of enjoyment, its doubling up in joy and gratification - it is also inhabited by uncertainty. One cannot by certain of having time to enjoy. What else is the experience of pain and suffering, for Levinas, but the absence of the prospect that seems to open to the ego in enjoyment - an immediacy that is given as the return of what detaches the present moment from any kind of future?
F. Scott Fitzgerald's enigmatic Jay Gatsby could not exist today. The digital ghost of Jay Gatz would follow him everywhere. There are no second chances in the digital age. Rehabilitation demands substantial autonomy and control over one's record — or at least forgiveness. As long as we are held highly accountable for youthful indiscretions that are easily Googled by potential employers or U.S. customs agents, we limit social, intellectual, and actual mobility. And we deny everyone second chances. That's just plain un-American.via if:book
In an earlier book, The Digital Person: Technology and Privacy in the Information Age, I explored how businesses and the government were threatening privacy by collecting massive digital dossiers of in- formation about people. In that book, it was easy to take sides. I ar- gued that information collection and use were threatening people's freedom and well-being, and that greater protection of privacy was necessary. When it comes to gossip and rumor on the Internet, how- ever, the culprit is ourselves. We're invading each other's privacy, and we're also even invading our own privacy by exposures of informa- tion we later come to regret. Individual rights are implicated on both sides of the equation. Protecting privacy can come into tension with safeguarding free speech, and I cherish both values. It is this conflict that animates this book.
Christian Bök on Dennis Lee"Bad abba the endgame. In-
...a neologistic style (reminiscent of Paul Celan) in order to speak about the forthcoming catastrophe of the environment. Lee has written a poetic lament about the willingness of humanity to rush onward into an ecological holocaust of the future—and while the tone of the work seems mordant in its playfulness, Lee strives to rebuild our fractured discourse in order to sing out against a disaster too horrible for ordinary language.Yesno
the sequel to Un—
Sojourn into the outer recesses of a nation bordering on madness, into a land deeply disturbed and emotionally bewildered, a world of anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism, of fanaticism and fundamentalism, entering a case study into fantasyland and escapism, taking a pilgrimage into realms both of purposeful ignorance and blindness, of electing lifelong incompetents based on wanting to have a beer with them, walking through the dark valley of indifference, climbing the monolithic mountain of hubris, finally reaching the hallowed halls of smoke and mirrors, a place where only the blind lead the blind and where the deafening roars of death and destruction are easily suppressed in delusion and denial. Journey, if you will, into a nation that lost its moral compass inside the dungeons of fear and hatred.
Jacques Henri Lartigue
from Draft 88: X-Posting Rachel Blau DuPlessis Angry Resigned Disempowered Making do amid this Schande Murky near and murky far. Disruption, Hopelessness, Malfeasance, Fear. Isn’t it plausible to feel impure, baffled, resistant to “the literary,” ensnared and burdened, split into resistance and identification, with chronic entrapment, panic, the incurable, with fixed-income poverty, terminated benefits, with all the Costs of Living revealed to me?
If the imperative of consumer capitalism is "lead us into temptation", then the shopping mall is its cathedral.Simulated cities, sedated living
The shopping mall as paradigmatic site of lifestyle capitalism
Translation by Simon Garnett
...little is said about the fact that something like a globalization of emotion and desire must exist, as well as a global understanding of the language of symbols through which a commodity communicates with the consumer (which doesn't, of course, rule out that a globally extending language of symbols is not an invitation to misunderstanding).
fromhaving been blue for charity
The systematic looting of language can be recognized by the tendency of its users to forgo its nuanced, complex, mid-wifery properties for menace and subjugation. Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.(...)Not Speaking of Torture
"Now the shadow of the southwest column..."
'It may seem peculiar that...fragments of crude reality, which the filmed narrative cannot help presenting, strike us so vividly, whereas identical scenes in real life do not suffice to free us of our blindness. As a matter of fact, it is as if the very conventions of the photographic medium (the two dimensions, the black-and-white images, the frame of the screen, the difference of scale between scenes) help free us from our own conventions. The slightly "unaccustomed" aspect of this reproduced world reveals, at the same time, the unaccustomed character of the world that surrounds us: it, too, is unaccustomed insofar as it refuses to conform to our habits of apprehension and to our classification.'thanks to infinite thØught
...with translations publishing decisions need to be more self-conscious, more calculated, not simply because money is involved, but because foreign texts and cultures are involved, and whatever gets into the receiving culture will create an image for them. Because of this image, because translation patterns form identities for foreign cultures in the minds of readers, publishing as well as translating is laden with a fundamentally ethical responsibility. Publishers should be asking themselves what kind of image their translation of a foreign work will create for the foreign culture where it originated. If they are already asking this question, then there is yet another: To what extent is their thinking about that image merely inflected by current events and trends without some grasp of the foreign cultural traditions that make the work meaningful for readers in the foreign culture? I do realize that my argument may come off as sheer utopianism. I am asking publishers to alter not only their long-standing practices, but the way they live and breathe as publishers. A likely response is to dismiss my essay as “hooey,” as one American editor has in fact called it, while others are probably thinking that Venuti should stick to academic research and leave the economics of publishing to the people who know it best, publishers. Yet I speak from long experience as a translator working with trade publishers of different sizes, not just as a student of translation whose work in the archive has led him to refuse the present situation.Translations on the Market
Heudnsk: Philadelphia Photography
... the US military is appalled and disturbed because some Iraqi insurgent groups (that may or may not have anything to do with Al Qaida in Iraq) are using videos to propagandize among adolescents in the hope that they will enlist. Meanwhile, the US military, which is engaged in the same type of operations as the Iraqi insurgency only as the occupying force, glorifies its mission of bloodshed, intimidation, and killing in videos, video games, in schools, on the television, at shopping malls and through the mails. Naturally, these methods are not training the US adolescents that they are targeting for operations, but they are definitely "meant to spread the US military's message among the young (to borrow Admiral Smith's words.)"(...)
The transformation of shopping spaces designed by Gruen and Krummeck – in formal terms, from the principle of openness to that of enclosure, in material terms, the move from glass to concrete – can today be interpreted as a manifestation of the tectonic shift that gripped the political and cultural landscape of postwar America.(...)
Wells [PDF]Voice Rachel Blau DuPlessis my silence years long silence. Talking to you you’re taking both halves of this conversation. Who are you talking to? your voice where does it come from the full blown resonance Where do they come from? the words uninterruptible machinery My father what am I saying? “We men we are lost” They lock around our necks, drowning. Their fascinating cries “Save us” “Save us” To turn away from the roiled water split now no longer whole never again perfect like a daughter— The cracked throat sounding itself my voice the voice that no longer fears (but does) (fear) the necessity to speak.
Rachel Blau DuPlessis
Reviewed by Ron Silliman
The only thing I’ve ever been able to find “wrong” with Rachel Blau DuPlessis’ marvelous life poem Drafts is the idea that some day it’s going to end, and that day is drawing increasingly near.(...)
As Frank Cioffi has argued, we are rather favouring one criterion of intention over another. Taking a close look at the early criticism surrounding The Turn of the Screw I draw attention to this phenomenon—much discussed by Wittgenstein—of favouring one criterion of intention over another. Because Wittgenstein’s views, though mentioned frequently, are still ill-understood, I go on to tease out the philosophical assumptions that lurk in the background of disputes about the relevance of intention for interpretation.
Between my childhood media world and my son’s there is a chasm.(...)
In Situ 2001–2005
Wells [PDF]A Poem of Myself Rachel Blau DuPlessis Sometimes I cannot move at all and will not either I imagine myself looking over a group of hills somewhere else, away. In Italy. The trees begin swaying as I watch them Turning inward and outward onto myself. No. I am sitting on a terrace and no one is bothering me. Standing in entrances. About to come in. My shoulders are hunched forward to hide my breasts. When am I going to come into the room? Come in, come in, I say to all the fragments
What to call Bern Porter? Found poet? Visual poet? Mail artist? Book artist? Pop artist? Concrete poet? He was each of these, and he will take his place in the histories of their genres (histories which have only begun to be written). And while it is true that the boundaries of these genres are permeable, allowing one to impregnate another, if we look for Porter's singular achievement, the one he delved into deeper and with more consistency than his contemporaries, it was as a found poet. As such, he is arguably the most significant found poet of the 20th century, if not all time.
How Bern Porter Saw The World
LIves don't come any more interesting than Bern Porter's.Bern Porter at UbuWeb Sound
part of an ongoing series at
door of the air raid shelter
How Images ThinkIn this room of open prediction, facts flash like a headland light. The search flares burst around you where you stand, lost in an information fantasia: tangled, graphical dances of devaluation, industrial upheaval, protective tariffs, striking shipbuilders, the G7, Paraguay, Kabul. The sweep of the digital now beyond its inventors’ collective ability to index— falls back, cowed by the sprawl of the runaway analog. . . . Data survive all hope of learning. But hope must learn how to survive the data.
download at Fark Yaralari
Notwithstanding numerous efforts to "picture" and "decode" the ways in which the mind operates, profound questions remain about the relationships among mind, body, and brain and how all of the elements of consciousness interact with a variety of cultural and social environments and artifacts. How Images Think explores the rich intersections of image creation, production, and communication within this context of debate about the mind and human consciousness. In addition, the book examines cultural discourses about images and the impact of the digital revolution on the use of images in the communications process. The digital revolution is altering the fabric of research and practice in the sciences, arts, and engineering and challenging many conventional wisdoms about the seemingly transparent relationships between images and meaning, mind and thought, as well as culture and identity.
What changed on 9/11 were the political conditions mostly domestic weighing on US policymakers. After that day, most Americans saw the post-Cold War world and America's place in it differently. This change in popular perspectives and expectations enabled a change in US policy which, in turn, is now gradually altering the geostrategic environment. What was lacking before 9/11 was an integrative policy framework around which a broad, public consensus favoring military activism might form. Today, the "war on terror" is that framework. The follow-on concept of a "long war" against Islamic radicalism serves a similar function.The Commonwealth Institute
via Mike Golby
If you would like to see just how sick the American elite really is--how morally depraved, how intellectually diseased, how addicted to the taste of human flesh, the scent of human blood, and the sight of human suffering--then you need go no further than the speech given by Mitt Romney to the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 7, 2008.(...)
US interrogators torture men in secret prisons seeking to catch those members of Al Quaeda still at large, starting with Osama bin Laden and Aiman al-Zwahiri. Yet here's Moody's man calmly threatening to destroy the US government's credit ranking unless it follows his agenda, and he strolls around Lower Manhattan unmolested, even if his threats could add up to the financial equvalent of a thermonuclear device planted under the Statue of Liberty.
Giordano Bruno's Last Meal in Finnegans Wake"This entire globe, this star, not being subject to death, and dissolution and annihilation being impossible anywhere in Nature, from time to time renews itself by changing and altering all its parts. There is no absolute up or down, as Aristotle taught; no absolute position in space; but the position of a body is relative to that of other bodies. Everywhere there is incessant relative change in position throughout the universe, and the observer is always at the center of things."
It was supposed to be "the good war"; a war against terror; a war of liberation. It was intended to fix the eyes of the world on America's state of the art weaponry, its crack troops and its overwhelming firepower. It was supposed to demonstrate—once and for all-- that the world's only superpower could no longer be beaten or resisted; that Washington could deploy its troops anywhere in the world and crush its adversaries at will.
The rhythm of life in modern civilization is characterized by pace, tension, a feeling of doom, the wish to hide our personal motives and the assumption of a variety of roles and masks in life (different ones with our family, at work, amongst friends or in community life, etc.-). We like to be "scientific", by which we mean discursive and cerebral, since this attitude is dictated by the course of civilization. But we also want to pay tribute to our biological selves, to what we might call physiological pleasures. We do not want to be restricted in this sphere. Therefore we play a double game of intellect and instinct, thought and emotion; we try to divide ourselves artificially into body and soul. When we try to liberate ourselves from it all we start to shout and stamp, we convulse to the rhythm of music. In our search for liberation we reach biological chaos. We suffer most from a lack of totality, throwing ourselves away, squandering ourselves.(...)Source Material on Jerzy Grotowski
This is a beautiful and ingenious machine, very useful and convenient for anyone who takes pleasure in study, especially those who are indisposed and tormented by gout. For with this machine a man can see and turn through a large number of books without moving from one spot. Moreover, it has another fine convenience in that it occupies very little space in the place where it is set, as anyone of intelligence can clearly see from the drawing.
William Egginton and Peter Gilgen
Invitation to the Covert History of Possibility
(the) moment of permeability and opportunity, I should probably emphasize at this juncture, is not an exclusively postmodern one.
shot with this
one of Steve's
via Mrs. Deane
I'm not seeing any coherency in the "post-avant" rubric. At least, no more than there is in the habit of thought that allows "new wave" to encompass both The Slits and The Go Gos. Part of the confusion comes from the related, prior error of assuming that there are two genealogies of poetic influence in America: one quietudinous and repressive, the other modernist and liberatory. There are in fact fourteen main genealogies, eleven of which overlap with each other, producing in effect thirty-seven sub-genealogies, which in turn generate a mandala-like criss-crossing wheel of two hundred and sixty-eight microgenealogies, some consisting of single poets or even blank slots reserved for potential poets. I've got it all written down somewhere.
Reed Magazine: Winter 2008fromThree Poems by Philip Whalen
The brain thinks, not man. Man is just a cerebral crystallization.What can a philosopher say about phantom limb syndrome? More specifically, what can a materialist philosopher say about phantom limb syndrome?