This is true for me as well--with one exception that maybe shouldn't be one
(logically) but is, namely, mechanically produced writing like those
JAVA-scripted things of Linda Crespi's in SNAKESKIN. It shouldn't affect my
experience of them as poems that they're more or less randomly produced
combos of individual lines from any number of different poems by various
people (as opposed to my justifiable, I think, sense of outrage over the
entailed destruction to the source poems as whole works in themselves), but
it does--if I know they're mechanically produced. It's as if the discovery
itself immediately rips the "poem's" heart out or drains it of its
mindfulness, and I just lose all interest in it. Nothing pastiched (which is
one of my own occasional practices) or even plagiarized has this effect on
me--I guess because there's still a person-ality there and even though in
the latter case it's that of a thief. (I mean I'd never assume a thief
couldn't write a good poem, on strictly moral grounds, although I imagine
some people would make that assumption and not unreasonably.)
on 6/6/01 5:57 PM, Mark Weiss at [log in to unmask] wrote:
> For me personally _as reader_ the hidden or unknown author phenomenon is
> profoundly unproblematic. The issue finally is not the identity of the
> author or lack thereof but the content and quality of the work itself. I
> appreciate that the fictional author or authors, if, unlike anonymous work,
> there be one (or many), is/are a part of the work. I'm surprised that
> others feel differently, but apparently they do. No matter the signature,
> we're ultimately alone with our experience as readers.
> If there's a famous name attached one's particular reaction to authority
> comes into play, but for me at least if the book doesn't hold my interest
> its authorship makes little difference. I open Clarel only because of
> Melville's prestige, say, but I don't get very far even tho I'm deeply
> interested in Melville. Whether one agrees about the example is beside the
> point, of course--we can all fill in our own.
> So I read Yasusada precisely as I read Nakajima Hiroshi, Marc Kaminsky's
> fictional poet and Hiroshima witness (in _The Road from Hiroshima,_ Simon
> and Schuster 1984), even though it's Kaminsky's name on the cover.
> At 04:24 PM 6/6/2001 -0500, kent johnson wrote:
>> David, some equally tentative thoughts inside yours below,
>>> I think, Kent, and I'm very tentative on formulating this, that it's
>>> something to do with knowing who to blame afterwards. That is to say, a
>>> matter of owning up and responsibility.
>> Hmm. In fact, isn't this notion of blame and responsibility at the heart of
>> Foucault's Author Function: "Blame," "responsibility," understood as
>> ideological effects bearing the felt force of ethical imperative-- and an
>> essential part of Power's feedback loop?
>> But what if we were inside a literary culture where it was accepted and
>> respected, as a matter of course, that any work may hide more regarding its
>> origins than its first denomination would denote? Where it was taken for
>> granted that heteronymous works exist and freely circulate amidst works that
>> can be given an "empirical" and genetic ascription? Where attributional
>> indeterminacy was welcomed into the very fabric of the reading experience?
>> Where readers were ready and willing to abide within a kind of negative
>> capability vis vis the authorship of a text? In this kind of milieu, I
>> think, "responsibility" would move beyond being just the burden of
>> authority, or ?authenticity? the trademark of the Author's Name. The
>> situation would (I suspect it would, anyway) be much more fluid and
>>> I find, too, that the personae can run loose quite well enough without >me
>>> giving them their own keys to the house. It's not that I 'outlaw' a >free
>>> rein to multiplicities, I just don't feel the need myself.
>> Fair enough. But do you "blame" those who follow their need to create and
>> present their writing inside imagined authorships? I take it you don't.
>> (Thank you, say Kierkegaard, Pushkin, Pessoa, and the author of the Tosa
>>> It would be like, for instance, contributing to this list under a
>>>> pseudonym. I couldn't do that, even tho' my surname minds me of a
>> Heteronyms and e-mail pseudonyms are different things in kind, entirely. And
>> micology happens to be one of my hobbies: Boletellus betula (the
>> Shaggy-stalked Bolete) is as close as I can come to Bircumshaw.
>> From the top of Mount Bugs Bunny,