Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century

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9780226660615: Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century

What is the place of individual genius in a global world of hyper-information— a world in which, as Walter Benjamin predicted more than seventy years ago, everyone is potentially an author? For poets in such a climate, "originality" begins to take a back seat to what can be done with other people’s words—framing, citing, recycling, and otherwise mediating available words and sentences, and sometimes entire texts. Marjorie Perloff here explores this intriguing development in contemporary poetry: the embrace of "unoriginal" writing. Paradoxically, she argues, such citational and often constraint-based poetry is more accessible and, in a sense, "personal" than was the hermetic poetry of the 1980s and 90s.

Perloff traces this poetics of "unoriginal genius" from its paradigmatic work, Benjamin’s encyclopedic Arcades Project, a book largely made up of citations. She discusses the processes of choice, framing, and reconfiguration in the work of Brazilian Concretism and Oulipo, both movements now understood as precursors of such hybrid citational texts as Charles Bernstein’s opera libretto Shadowtime and Susan Howe’s documentary lyric sequence The Midnight. Perloff also finds that the new syncretism extends to language: for example, to the French-Norwegian Caroline Bergvall writing in English and the Japanese Yoko Tawada, in German. Unoriginal Genius concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmith’s conceptualist book Traffic—a seemingly "pure’" radio transcript of one holiday weekend’s worth of traffic reports. In these instances and many others, Perloff shows us "poetry by other means" of great ingenuity, wit, and complexity.

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About the Author:

Marjorie Perloff is professor of English emerita at Stanford University and the author or editor of many books, including Wittgenstein’s Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary and The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

Review:

“When "The Poetics of Indeterminacy" appeared, our view of twentieth-century poetry was reconceived and reborn. Since then Perloff established herself as the pre-eminent scholar and critic of  the Modern/Postmodern epoch, whose continuities she was the first to grasp. Of her work one wants to say, recalling Marianne Moore, it is a privilege to see so much profusion. Another wonderment, "Unoriginal Genius" circumnavigates the poetic world of the past 75 years, touching at strategic ports of call and eager to mix with many languages, cultures, and aesthetic media. The book starts in the theatre of Benjamin’s Second Empire and finishes with a study of the Edgar Poe "des nos jours," Kenny Goldsmith—aptly finishes, since Perloff’s underlying story, though she never says this and though nearly everyone has forgotten it, began—as Baudelaire knew—with Poe, the first of our great poetic theatricians.”—Jerome McGann, University of Virginia
""Unoriginal Genius" showcases, yet again, why Marjorie Perloff is the most respected expositor for the avant-garde in poetry. She demonstrates why lauded, modern poets (many of whom have questioned the values of both ''the original'' and ''the creative'') might prefer instead to ''cheat'' on their assignments by handing in poems that steal words and remix lines, verbatim, from the databases of the "deja dit". I recommend that every genius read this omnibus--then copy its poetics."--Christian Bok, author of "Eunoia"
--Christian Bok

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Descrizione libro The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2010. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What is the place of individual genius in a global world of hyper-information - a world in which, as Walter Benjamin predicted more than seventy years ago, everyone is potentially an author? For poets in such a climate, originality begins to take a back seat to what can be done with other people s words - framing, citing, recycling, and otherwise mediating available words and sentences, and sometimes entire texts. Marjorie Perloff here explores this intriguing development in contemporary poetry: the embrace of unoriginal writing. Paradoxically, she argues, such citational and often constraint-based poetry is more accessible and, in a sense, personal than was the hermetic poetry of the 1980s and 90s. Perloff traces this poetics of unoriginal genius from its paradigmatic work, Benjamin s encyclopedic Arcades Project, a book largely made up of citations. She discusses the processes of choice, framing, and reconfiguration in the work of Brazilian Concretism and Oulipo, both movements now understood as precursors of such hybrid citational texts as Charles Bernstein s opera libretto Shadowtime and Susan Howe s documentary lyric sequence The Midnight .Perloff also finds that the new syncretism extends to language: for example, to the French-Norwegian Caroline Bergvall writing in English and the Japanese Yoko Tawada in German. Unoriginal Genius concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmith s conceptualist book Traffic - a seemingly pure radio transcript of one holiday weekend s worth of traffic reports. In these instances and many others, Perloff shows us poetry by other means of great ingenuity, wit, and complexity. Codice libro della libreria AAH9780226660615

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Marjorie Perloff
Editore: The University of Chicago Press, United States (2010)
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Descrizione libro The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2010. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What is the place of individual genius in a global world of hyper-information - a world in which, as Walter Benjamin predicted more than seventy years ago, everyone is potentially an author? For poets in such a climate, originality begins to take a back seat to what can be done with other people s words - framing, citing, recycling, and otherwise mediating available words and sentences, and sometimes entire texts. Marjorie Perloff here explores this intriguing development in contemporary poetry: the embrace of unoriginal writing. Paradoxically, she argues, such citational and often constraint-based poetry is more accessible and, in a sense, personal than was the hermetic poetry of the 1980s and 90s. Perloff traces this poetics of unoriginal genius from its paradigmatic work, Benjamin s encyclopedic Arcades Project, a book largely made up of citations. She discusses the processes of choice, framing, and reconfiguration in the work of Brazilian Concretism and Oulipo, both movements now understood as precursors of such hybrid citational texts as Charles Bernstein s opera libretto Shadowtime and Susan Howe s documentary lyric sequence The Midnight .Perloff also finds that the new syncretism extends to language: for example, to the French-Norwegian Caroline Bergvall writing in English and the Japanese Yoko Tawada in German. Unoriginal Genius concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmith s conceptualist book Traffic - a seemingly pure radio transcript of one holiday weekend s worth of traffic reports. In these instances and many others, Perloff shows us poetry by other means of great ingenuity, wit, and complexity. Codice libro della libreria AAH9780226660615

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Descrizione libro The University of Chicago Press. Hardback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century, Marjorie Perloff, What is the place of individual genius in a global world of hyper-information - a world in which, as Walter Benjamin predicted more than seventy years ago, everyone is potentially an author? For poets in such a climate, 'originality' begins to take a back seat to what can be done with other people's words - framing, citing, recycling, and otherwise mediating available words and sentences, and sometimes entire texts. Marjorie Perloff here explores this intriguing development in contemporary poetry: the embrace of 'unoriginal' writing. Paradoxically, she argues, such citational and often constraint-based poetry is more accessible and, in a sense, 'personal' than was the hermetic poetry of the 1980s and '90s. Perloff traces this poetics of 'unoriginal genius' from its paradigmatic work, Benjamin's encyclopedic Arcades Project, a book largely made up of citations. She discusses the processes of choice, framing, and reconfiguration in the work of Brazilian Concretism and Oulipo, both movements now understood as precursors of such hybrid citational texts as Charles Bernstein's opera libretto "Shadowtime" and Susan Howe's documentary lyric sequence "The Midnight". Perloff also finds that the new syncretism extends to language: for example, to the French-Norwegian Caroline Bergvall writing in English and the Japanese Yoko Tawada in German. "Unoriginal Genius" concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmith's conceptualist book Traffic - a seemingly 'pure' radio transcript of one holiday weekend's worth of traffic reports. In these instances and many others, Perloff shows us 'poetry by other means' of great ingenuity, wit, and complexity. Codice libro della libreria B9780226660615

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