The seat of the soul is where the inner world and the outer world meet. Where they overlap, it is in every point of the overlap. - Novalis

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gertrude Stein: The Language That Rises - 1923-1934
Ulla E. Dydo, Northwestern University Press, 2003.

Stein's “rejection of the rigid conventions of language led her gradually to dissociate herself from all inflexible forms, including hierarchical thinking, authoritarian organization, prescriptive grammar, and chronological narrative — aspects of the patriarchy. In a sense, all her work is a demonstration of possibilities of grammar for democracy.” (Dydo, 17)

Ron Silliman's review
Logan Esadale's review in Jacket

Photo of Stein & Toklas here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Brief Note on Foley's "Visions"

I'm nearly done with Volume 1. No doubt I will finish this & read the second, even longer tome. It's a bit of an odd book, and that's not a criticism. The subject matter hardly lends itself to a narrative history. Foley wants to review ALL the poetry (& some art) that was centered in California from 1940 to 2005. Even the uninitiated will be able to imagine the range and variety of this task. For someone like me, learning this history in any detail for the first time, there is I am quite sure, nothing remotely comparable. I really can't put it down. The text is fragmented and choppy as befits the subject. I enjoy that - and the uneven treatments of the various events and people. Two things do slightly annoy which are perhaps worth mentioning. The typesetting is inelegant and I do wish someone had cleaned it up a bit. Second, and I must say it doesn't annoy me as much as it ought to, Foley lifts sections, sometimes quite long ones, right out of Wikipedia. Somehow that seems appropriate given the non-academic thrust of this whole project and of the lives of most of the people it chronicles. But the point I want to make is that I am terribly grateful to Foley for undertaking this enormous task. As a survey and overview it is, for me at least, just what was needed. It occurs to me as I write that it has something of the feel of that first Whole Earth catalog that opened up new worlds for me many years ago. I am learning a great deal. It is an encyclopedia that I will read and refer to for a long time I think.

David Antin

Next on my Reading List (after I get through Foley's two volumes):

David Antin. Radical Coherency: Selected Essays on Art and Literature, 1966 to 2005 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011)

A review by Douglas Messerli Here in Jacket2

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Art in the Streets, again

As I mentioned a while ago, I went to the MOCA Art in the Streets show back in May - it really turned my head around. Controversial for lots of reasons, but so very much worth seeing. Here's an interesting review...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Twombly, again

Leeman, Richard, Cy Twombly, and Isabelle d' Hauteville. Cy Twombly: a monograph. Paris: Flammarion, 2005.

My sense at the moment is that this book is a very good place to start with Twombly. (Best website here).

And this, from John Berger:

"I know of no other visual Western artist who has created an oeuvre that visualizes with living colors the silent space that exists between and around words. Cy Twombly is the painterly master of verbal silence."  READ THE ESSAY

And, if you happen to be in London: Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters (thru Sept 25) - where you can see Tacita Dean's 2011 film on Twombly, "Edwin Parker." AND see the set of videos from the exhibition with narration at the Dulwich Gallery multimedia channel!

Charles Olson on Cy Twombly

Charles Olson on Cy Twombly:

"Cy Twombly," (1952) in Olson, Charles, Donald Merriam Allen, Benjamin Friedlander, and Robert Creeley. Collected Prose. Berkeley (Calif.): University of California press, 1997, 175-8. Read it here.

"For Cy Twombly Faced with His First Chicago & N.Y. Shows," in Olson, Charles, and George F. Butterick. The Collected Poems of Charles Olson: Excluding the Maximus Poems. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987, 244. Read it here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Visions and Affiliations

Visions and Affiliations: A California Literary Timeline
Poets & Poetry 1940-2005
Jack Foley
at amazon here

I've just received the first volume. 2nd on the way. Just amazing.

This is magnificent - I actually think I'm going to read the whole thing...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Narrative of the Image: A Correspondence

Thanks to Ron Silliman for this link. A topic that interests me greatly. This is a correspondence between Charles Wright and Charles Simic on the differences between image and metaphor. It begins with a paragraph Wright gave to his graduate poetry workshop and then sent to Simic for comment:

"If it is true (and I think it is) that an image is, as Pound put it, an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time, and if the "logic of metaphor" is, as Crane put it, constructed on a series of associational meanings and thought-extension, then the narrative of image and the narrative of metaphor are different, if not generically then surely perceptively, and poems employing them will act and react differently. The narrative (or logic) of metaphor will be more of a time-release agent, giving the reader a slower, longer contemplation; more time to think about the associations. The poem is perhaps more susceptible to a flow-through story line inside the poem. The narrative (logic) of image, on the other hand is more explosive, gives the reader less time to ruminate' opens itself to impressionistic perceptions. The How, such as it is, is intermittent, interrupted, and tends to exist outside the poem, as though a series of things glimpsed quickly, but indelibly, from a fast train. A difference not in kind (as both are defined as "figures of speech") but in degree. But a difference nevertheless, although this is not written down in any book."   Read their ensuing correspondence.

Cy Twombly (April 25, 1928 – July 5, 2011), Quattro Stagioni: Autunno, (1993-5) via Tate Modern

Friday, July 1, 2011

Goethean Science

This is a thread I have long thought of following. I may yet. I picked it up once for a while after reading Corbin on Goethe's Theory of Colors. You will find David Abram taking note of Goethe in his work. Two key texts are these:

Goethe's Way of Science, Edited by David Seamon and Arthur Zajonc. See Seamon's webpage for more connections of considerable interest - including Christopher Alexander - and you can read the introduction to the book there too. Arthur Zajonc also seems to have done very remarkable work - look at his amazon page.

The Wholeness of Nature by Henri Bortoft.

Picture of the Urpflanze from here.