Friday, October 26, 2007

Stan Apps

has stirred up some debate on his blog. What has most people seem to dislike is his aversion to tradition. I don't have a problem with that. Of course it isn't logically etc true, but so what, we're poets, we don't have to be logical. Most of the best writers have been kooks. I'm more worried about the other ones.

One thing that I don't agree with is his claim that Dan Hoy is a rear-gardist and that because Dan wrote an essay that was somewhat critical of flarf, he somehow wants to "control" "the avant-garde".

Since when did writing an essay become trying to "control" "the avant-garde" (which I don't believe exists in the USA, 2007 - more about that later)?

Most importantly, I think Stan's paradigm of the avant-garde vs the rear-garde avoids /eludes real discussion. If we just say this is good/avant-garde and that isn't, we're just avoiding discussion of the actual poems, in favor of categorization/conventions. This is not that much different than just saying poems are "good" and "bad." I think we should have more discussion of contemporary poetry, not less.

2 Comments:

Blogger Fran├žois said...

Stan Apps' attempt at categorization bugs me, much like Ron Silliman's use of "SoQ/post-avant," and now "neophobe." But what bugs me most is his wrong-headed view of science, as being "universal" and whatever he may as said about using "poetry as science." I don't have a problem as modeling a certain poetics as a scientific process. The 'pataphysicians did it well, as did the Oulipians. But Apps' position presupposes a certain faith in science as solution to all. It is a very 19th-century stance, what we French call scientisme (not sure if there is an equivalent in English). All of which I addressed on Rachel Loden's blog.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Stan Apps said...

Hi Johannes,

I just wanted to note that I've retracted the statements about Dan Hoy which you refer to here, ever since Dan wrote to tell me that he had coined the term "flank garde." I'm very excited about the new flank garde literary tendency, as epitomized in Dan's work and in the Soft Targets journal.

Francois,

Your characterization of my comments here has only the most minimal and confused relationship to what I wrote. In the future, I would recommend reading more carefully before commenting on the ideas of others. I commented only that science allows for the supersession of the ideas of one era with the ideas of another, whereas in literary discourse many people seem to believe that there are no ruptures in the narrative of literary development, such that the realist novel, for example, is taken to have as much validity now as it did in 1850. I would say it doesn't, and that science offers a useful model for the replacement of the ideas of one era with brand new ideas. I never made any reference to science as being universal, I have no faith in science as solution to all, and I am also critical of "scientisme", which in English, big surprise, is called "scientism."

Thanks!

6:49 AM  

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