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POETRYETC  November 2006

POETRYETC November 2006

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Subject:

Re: lyric and narrative

From:

Chris Jones <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and poetics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 26 Nov 2006 17:07:16 +1100

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Parts/Attachments:

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On Fri, 2006-11-24 at 08:51 -0700, Douglas Barbour wrote:

> Poetry, even lyric, is too 'wild' to fit into any philosophical 
> bandwidth..?

Wild above rule and art, isn't that a quote from Milton? 

It takes a bit to lay this out but someone just might be interested even
if it seems far too condensed and abstract to make much sense at all... 

It does seem possible to give the current consensus of was is said to be
postmodern fictions a date of 1945 (in terms of a Deleuzian intensity or
plateau.) I would think Gilles Goat Boy by John Barth has a great lyric
intensity which speaks that date, for example. Referring to Bakhtin it
would be something like a vertical or Dante chronotope (ie space-time)
or lets say a 1945 chronotrope. It gets difficult to discuss quickly
because Bakhtin begins with a notion of space-time from Kant. Kant's
notion of space-time can perhaps best be quickly illustrated by giving a
contemporary example of the Internet as cyberspace-time which is to say
topological and not 3D, as it were (ie connected to Euler and bridge
logic in mathematics.)

Anyways, what I wanted to comment on first off was Dorothy Porter's
verse novels. When she began researching or thinking about  _The
Monkey's Mask_ as a verse detective novel she was really interested in
Dante and took Dante as a sort of model of what a verse novel is as well
as the general form of detective novels as a genre. It could be said
that detective novels are epistemological which is to say, how do you
know what there is to know which suggests a horizontal flow. Dante's
chrontotrope is a horizontal flow which meets a blockage or a broken
bridge and so piles up into a vertical as in the layers of hell and so
forth in Dante. Poetry since 1945 seems to have taken such a novelistic
turn, Frank O'hara, for example, and Ginsberg's Howl as a novel and so
it goes poetry and novels are homogeneous which is another way of saying
too much for the transcendental philosophical bandwidth. (Indignant
transcendent opposition to the homogeneity of novels and poems is enough
proof of this and increases the homogeneity.) 

Anyways again, it seems that the old distinctions between lyric and
narrative no longer hold and this 1945 chronotope may have something to
offer toward an understanding which also means the push Bakhtin makes
beyond Kantian space-time in that what is novelistic is also creation of
new differences between lyric and narrative. (Another connected argument
here is that cyberspace is Kantian space and not rhizome and smooth
space as some misreadings of Deleuze offer.) It seems also that it is no
longer at all possible to think poetry and novels in terms of Kant's
aesthetics and no longer possible to think space-time as pure empty
forms or as cyberspace bandwidths. Cyberspace is in this sense the end
of a long historical epoch and it appears as a great vertical Dante
chronotrope. (Cyberspace as a concentrated striated space contra
arguments that claim it is smooth space according to some so-called
Deleuzian takes on cyberspace.) And onto then the question of form......
it seems when trying to understand form that it cannot be accepted
a-priori that form exists empty or otherwise and that forms and new
forms, that is novelistic forms, are always created as new which entails
the creation of new (novelistic) senses and novelistic affects which in
a collision create always new forms. Novels and poems are homogeneous
which is a novel condition of transcendental refusal (from suggestions
made by Gertrude Stein) which means that form cannot be thought until
after the event of novel creation of forms. Form as a second thought may
explain why American pragmatics is such a tempting and influential route
in recent US poetics but you can't go that way either (as Morson and
Bernstein well know). But the problem of a break with primal form
persists. It could appear that forms get caught in this 1945 chronotrope
and are crushed or collapse completely which also returns to modernism
as immanent critique. You could keep stacking things on top of this, one
after the other like a tower of Babel, perhaps? It seems also the
problem disperses in all directions.

Anyways and anyways, next time you hear someone piling expletives on top
of expletives at their computer (otherwise known as swearing at the dumb
f*cking c*nt of a c*mputer) or throwing a computer out of the window as
Bill Gates was once reputed to have done just think they are really
cursing Kant, the bearded critic, which makes a comic connection with
Artaud.

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