Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Poetics of coterie

Getting back to Vanessa Place's poetics of "radical evil," the trouble, really, comes when a radical/experimental Leftist poet accepts that (whether intentional or not) his/her audience is of a similar ilk poetically and/or politically, which therefore permits the kind of value-ations which radical Leftist poets are always trying to deconstruct; the task is not so "indeterminate" as LangPo would have it seem. This is really just a further exhaustion of the tacit notion that "Yes, we are the writer-audience, we guard the threshold of what passes for 'good'". Carl Rakosi, in a soundbite I just discovered (thanks Al Filreis) admits this very problem. And by problem, I mean obstacle, I mean challenge, I mean enablement (which by extension might also lend credit to the repressive traditionalist poetic factions: New Criticism, New Formalism, etc. that gave Leftists a defined poetic/aesthetic from which to diverge; but, whatever you do, don't count me in their ranks):

"To express your passion in a straightforward way, directly. It will not be interesting. They're already there, you haven't done anything to/for them. So, the... subject matter has to be transformed... something both powerful and beautiful." -Carl Rakosi, on being a communist poet

Filreis, I believe, understands this standard-bearing as more incidental (while still useful) rather than some deliberate act of pure elitism; as does Bob Perelman, who once made the aside (which I'm paraphrasing, I heard it in an interview, a long time ago): "Not enough criticism has focused on the more regressive aspects of avant-garde writers, I think."

No comments:

Post a Comment