Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tony H (Continued) - heteroglossia

Another big problem I have with Tony H's article (and many other articles that analyze the "effect" of various modes of writing) is that collage and fragmentation are seen as interferences in the natural reading process - as if there was one perfect fluency to begin with and then the avant-garde techniques come in and muck things up ("fragment" Eliot's wonderland).

Could it be that there are many different ways of reading and Tony's conventionalizing poetry goes in an straight-jackets the reading processes?

At one point Hoaglund mistakes "heteroglossia" for a technique of having many speakers. This is in effect a reductive understanding of heteroglossia, turning a dialogic process into a stylistic device (with a stable "effect").

There is a much more profound kind of heteroglossia going on in Apollinaire and I think the concretism and collage aspects are part of that process.

I like to refer to Raymond Williams' claim that the avant-garde comes out of people of different backgrounds interacting in "cosmopolitan encounters." In effect, Apollinaire is writing with a cosmopolitan awareness of language (even though he was a collossal nationalist!) - ie he does not read/write with the Hoaglund's perfect reading that goes straight through the signifier to the signified.


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