Friday, August 08, 2008

Repeat - explanation - etc

I just wanted to briefly clarify something about "teams/tribes" and inside/outside:

Something I really like about the historical avant-garde is the proliferation of teams. This comes out of the avant-garde concept - the idea that if you are refused you start your own salon so to speak. I was hypocritical in criticizing Mark's inside/outside paradigm because such proliferations will always have groups.

Like I said in another post, the reason Halliday doesn't supposedly believe in "teams" is that he wants there just to be his team - the institutionalized, monoglossic "tradition."

Not that different from the "English Only" anxiety sweeping the nation.

This incidentally has a lot to do with "ethnic" art and so-called "identity politics." As a guy just noted in an essay I read about the issue, nobody ever said "American" was identity politics.

It is not incidental - as I often note - that the historical avant-garde is largely created by emigrants and exiles. It is often a kind of anti-nationalistic, and pretty much always anti-monoglossic move.

People often confuse Deleuze and Guattari's notion of "minor literature" - either seeing it as just "ethnic literature" or just avant-garde literature (or less popular whatever). But these two things go together. Kafka uses Yiddish to deterritorialize Prague German. Björling similarly writes in a kind of Finland-Swedish throughout his career dismissed as "not Swedish but Björlingish."

At some moments, people try to centralize the avant-garde of this period, create rules, centers etc. For example, in "The New Spirit" Apollinaire disparages Dadaism and Cubo-Futurism, glorifying France (nationalism is often important in centralizing urges - then as now); or Breton tries to arrange a joint congress of progressive art (but, tellingly, fails, unlike various such conferences that now take place).

This is the problem with the cfp I posted below ("true avant-garde") and a lot of Marjorie Perloff's work. They use the term "avant-garde" explicitly (which never happens during the historical avant-garde to create a homogenous "avant-garde." You can see how I feel this is quite contrary to the proliferation impulse.

So in contradiction to some things I wrote yesterday, I am for Mark having his own "team" and I am for him introducing me to poets in that team that I may not have heard of.


Blogger Glenn Ingersoll said...

I like the contexts provided by different teams/tribes -- Asian American Poets, New York School Poets, Beat Poets, Gay Poets, Language Poets, Haiku Poets.

How is the same poem (or poet represented by different work) seen if she is included in an Asian American Poets Anthology, a Language Poetry Anthology, and an Anthology of Poetry by Women?

10:11 PM  

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