Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Thanks for everyone who wrote me congratulatory emails.

I just got back from the hospital to find an old copy of jubilat that had been sent first to Alabama and now to South Bend. I must have forgotten to send the journal my new address.

[I removed the jubilat bit since it was a misunderstanding.]

Many people have asked me about the middle name - Ebba. What does it mean? It doesn't mean anything. It's a very uncool old-lady name. I had a feisty great aunt named Ebba. A kid in my 6th grade class was named Ebba - her mom worked for the Green Party. Actually, come to think of it, one of the most prominent literary critics and members of the Feminist Party is named Ebba (Witt-Brattstrom). She also wrote a fantastic study of Edith Sodergran ("Ediths jag") that I heartily recommend to anybody who speaks Swedish. Hell, maybe I'll translate it for a Finland-Swedish project I'm working on.

Also, "Ebba Grön" ("Ebba Green") was the code name for a Baader-Meinhof cell that attempted to kidnap Sweden's foreign minister (or some other minister, can't remember) in the 70s. It became the name of the seminal Swedish punk group Ebba Grön (check youtube for examples). Up until that point they'd been The Haters. Afterwards they became Imperiet ("The Empire"), the most recklessly, awesomely pretentious rock group of the 80s (again, youtube is a great resource).


Blogger François Luong said...

I discovered the other day that the father of the actress Eva Green was Swedish and that her last name was pronounced [gren]. Her father probably named her Ebba too.

9:54 AM  
Blogger François Luong said...

But yeah, regarding Rob, I would hope he was conscious of whatever he was asserting about American poetry, because I know he knows a bit about the Russian avant-garde (which goes back to a talk about postmodernism and language poetry in Tony Hoagland's workshop, back when Matthea taught at UH)

9:56 AM  
Blogger Johannes said...

From Rob:
"Re: my interview w/ CR -- I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I meant that the history of American poetry is distinctly experimental, not that experimentation in poems has to be American or that American poets invented experimentation. If my statement was a counter to anyone, it was to the conservatives who easily forget how essential experiment is to the American canon. Which, everyone knows, owes a great debt to poetry from all sorts of other places, and all sorts of other times. If anything, I would argue that the experimental strain in American poetry would not exist without translation, and that our experiments have often served as an homage to the lyric traditions of other cultures."

Well, I totally agree with that.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Johannes said...

Perhaps I should change this entry, since it misconstrued Rob's position.

8:39 AM  

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