Mairead Byrneinspiring talk on the cross-fertilization of poetry and scholarship (or as she prefers to call it, "research"). Writing on Frederick Douglass' four months in Ireland in 1845 (the the beginning of the potato famine).
Propositions: little headlines which often get repeated in the body of her text.
I prefer writing to reading.Research could result in poetry, a song cycle, a paper, "even a novel."
I prefer writing to teaching.
I prefer writing to speaking.
I do not prefer writing to eating.
Breaking down binary "constructs": poetry is emotional, scholarship is rational, etc.
How is hers an immigrant's story?
She has "a particular love" for the work of Paul De Man.
Eileen Mylesindividual as institution (Ginsberg, Berrigan, et al).
poetry as neighborhoodMFA poetry as "prepared neighborhood" (gated community)
university as corporate workplacec.f. The University in Ruins
mission: to unprepare students
Bob Perelman"Avant-Garde, Avant Grade, I Want a Grade"
"free-born joy, the moment of desire"
"creating writers" rather than "teaching creative writing"
progressive vs. avant-garde
democratic vs. anti-democratic (an interpolated eltie, "those who get it")
cites Steve Evans and the Fence controversynot necessarily "the narcissism of small differences" but a product of the contradiction that exists between the demands of the (authoritarian, oppositional) avant-garde and the practice of (democratic, progressive) pedagogy. "Blasphemy" of asserting continuity between the two projects.
academy as production site for one's literary values
neither literature nor creative writing have coherent intellectual structureslit crit is a succession of scholia
"students who have written poetry are better equipped to read it"
"Ern Malley as ideal creative writing studentdiscuss."
site of deepest conflict between democratic-progressive impulses and avant-garde exclusionary community. . . could it be. . . pastoral?
"the waning of the conditions of possibility for bohemia"
"obsolete before it has ossified"a Marx quote applied to the historic avant-garde. What was the avant-garde?
"ethics of the translator as a possibility" (not necessarily referring only to one who translates)
"modern culture is critical culture"
"over-investment in the rhetorical"?
Elizabeth Willis"an inveterate crevice-monger of academic situations"
Academia as "a form of employment that may come to prey on our artistic production"
"I'm not sure if teaching is any more or less ethical than working on a chicken farm." Is this a dig at Purdue (every possible Purdue)?
using institutions rather than being used by themto be conditioned by the possibilities of the academy is "a failure of imagination"
"Al Sharpton World"when asked how he felt about not being taken seriously he said, "That's not the pointnone of us are being taken seriously."
liberal arts education as an absolute good
Montaigne: "A strong imagination creates the event, saith the scholars."
(In "Lycidas," isn't the pastoral scene that has been disrupted by death academic? The Cambridge of "old Damoetas.")
Stein: "How do you like what you have? Anybody can ask anybody."
Peter Gizzi"I came here today out of friendship."
Chomsky: "The American language is a dialect that contains an army and a navy."
"the field is haunted"field as scene of military operations (penetrated by an avant-garde?) but also a scene of freedom and, natch, opening
editing & teaching"reading in a plural way"
The writers one reads "give one coverage in the world." Integration of one's mental life into one's daily lifeit just happens. "Composition" as essential to life.
Teaching & editing as additional means of "composing" than writing.
"war is the constant and we are the variant"
Bob"the university is an amplifying device." Quotes Hejinian: "the avant-garde is always pedagogical." But teaching is "always remedial," "expansively democratic."
(Jefferson as democratic pastoralist embedded in fascist Cantos?)
Bob: "We teach judgment."
Willisincreasing professionalization of everyone (in response to a question about the professionalization of poetry)the internetimportance of blogging from work? stealing time from the machine. [My thoughts, not her words.]
Bob: the market for visual art makes innovation desirablebut isn't this the perpetual revolution that perpetuates that market? Whereas the reward system for poetry isn't geared that way. But rather than a truly alternative economy, the current system means that un-innovative poetry is what gets rewarded.
Gizzi: Mentions essay (not his), "Give My Regards to Eighth Street." Basically saying character is destinyBob finds this a dangerously regressive conceptcharacter changes into itself.
Eileen Myles: "Every poet who doesn't write poetry gets famous."