Friday, November 21, 2003

Josh's Poetry Adventure Weekend

A recap of what's happening:

- Today I'm moderating a discussion of a paper written by fellow grad student Ryan Canlas titled "Subalternity, Ethics, and Commons: Some Preliminary Notes." In the paper Ryan examines whether poetic representation might not be capable of doing more justice to the subaltern position (not speaking for it or assimilating it into a bad humanist project which, according to Badiou, reduces human beings to the lowest common denominator of their potential to be victimized), with Myung Mi Kim's Commons as the text in point. He seems to conclude that the last section of Commons, "Pollen Fossil Record" (read part of it here) by being more of a "poetics" text than the poetry which proceeds it, demonstrates the necessary failure of pure poetry without some kind of supplementary exegesis. It's a good, provocative, and interesting paper, though I don't think he gives quite enough credit to the potential meaningfulness of Kim's text even without he supplement. I will take him to task on that today.

- Right after the roundtable (I will probably be late) I'm rushing over to Kroch Library (the postmodernist light-filled underground structure paradoxically situated under the modernist gloom of Olin, the graduate library) to hear Lee Ann Brown and Carla Harryman read. Yippee I say. There just might be a dinner with the poets afterward. Barrett Watten and Rosemarie Waldrop and Oswald Egger will all also probably be there.

- Tomorrow is the symposium in honor of Egger, titled "(Dis)locating Poetries: Transatlantic Connections." My friend Sam will present a paper he wrote on Egger's work. Six grad student poetry types, including me, will give extremely brief "responses" which will probably have nothing to do with the paper but just be exploratory statements on poetics and the notion of location. I may say something about pastoral. After a break, Rosemarie Waldrop will present something called "Strangeness, Irreducible?" Egger's paper is "To Observe the Obverse." (This will be the first time I've heard him speak; I attended a workshop he's been giving in the German department, but it was in German. I understand just enough German to know that he was saying interesting things.) Barrett Watten bats clean-up with "The Person in Leningrad: Collective Ideas and the Avant-Garde." Sounds somewhat similar to what he did at the Modernism conference. I wonder if he's aware of the Oren Izerman piece? (Izerman, it turns out, has written an entire dissertation on the subject.) Finally, there will be a panel with all the "name" presenters. And lots of coffee.

- Sunday of course is the big Frequency series reading in Brooklyn with Colum McCann. Scroll down or click here for particulars. We'll spend the night in Brooklyn and return to Ithaca Monday. Phew! If any of you New York types (Gary? Nada? Nick?) were to pop by, I'd love to see you.

That's the news, ladies and germs.

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