Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lemon Hound/Gurlesque

This is something I wrote in a comment field to "Lemon Hound" who is not "buying" the Gurlesque:

Lemon Hound,

I have a hard time taking seriously the claim that any poetry "moves us forward". But as someone who is finds the notion of "forward"-thinking problematic to say the least, I suppose I'm not in that "us." You guys continue moving "forward." I'm sure it will do your "us" a lot of good.

If the gurlesque has to do with the jouissance of the abject (which may not be true), then it's certainly not about moving forward. It's certainly not about being good citizens and all that.

I think one of the most insightful comments on the Gurlesque was made by my wife Joyelle Mcsweeney, who told Dodie Bellamy that the gurlesque was "the rejection of empowerment".

I'm curious as to why Chien Batard would be so offended by the Plath reference? Are you claiming that there is no element of camp/grotesque in these writers?

I'm also curious as to what he means by "this kind of poetry"? I think Arielle's idea was more of a vague notion involving camp and gender and the grotesque. It was never a movement, but a framework for reading some very varied poets. Lara G takes this even further afield by including someone who isn't even an American (Aase Berg). I think it's not even just women; I can think of several men who might fit into this general notion.

None of this commentry really deals with the poems in any specific way; thus it's hard for me to know what you really think that kind of poetry is.

Another Note:
I'm thinking about this: What is exactly is that is so hard to "buy"? That there are a lot of poets working with the grotesque and gender and camp? Like I said earlier on this blog, Arielle's original essay was by no means set-in-stone stuff; it was a hunch, an inkling. It was never a "movement". That's for example why I've said that there are things and poets in this framework that I can't see together, but it's certainly a move in the right direction: to have a discussion beyond post-avants vs quietists and such.


Blogger Danielle said...

Thanks for the link, Johannes; I've commented too, ever so far after the fact...


12:01 AM  

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