Monday, October 20, 2003

I've been backchanneling a bit with the estimable and inimitable Kent Johnson over some questions regarding the heteronymic strategy toward avant-garde writing—avant-garde as Peter Bürger defines it, as that which challenges the institutions (and perhaps all institutionalizing tendencies) of art. This is entirely distinct from modernist and postmodernist strategies aimed at renewing language, which can be and usually are confined to the space of the page—this work stretches the bounds of what's institutionally acceptable but offers no real resistance to it. Anyway, Kent has given all this a great deal of thought, and if anyone deserves recognition for actual avant-garde praxis nowadays, he does. I highly recommend his lucid and useful accounting of the current poetry scene in the Coyote magazine interview that's been "reprinted" by VeRT. Check it out if you haven't already.

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