Thursday, November 15, 2007

favorite tidbits from The Grand Piano, part 4

Carla Harryman:

The structure of memory is formed between what's been purged and held in. Why not make a formal writing experiment of what I never said? (17)

[The account of reading Genet as a liberation from Eliotic modernism on pp.18-19]

...the sex that delivers one to the surprise sensation of self-coherence through the smell of somebody else. (24)

Tom Mandel:

[on Robert Duncan, during the conflicted Watten/Duncan talk on Zukofsky in 1978]:

He didn't like Barry's attempt to "materialize Zukofsky, both textually and politically" [...] He shone, but his brilliance was frightening. His evangelical bearing--Christian and Spiritualist--scared me. Zukofsky was a Jew and a materialist [...] Only now, writing this account, do I realize what undid me: the Christian authoritarian use of the Jew. (60)

I wonder what one wins in these poetry wars? Daily life with acolytes? If that's utopia, give me la derive. (61)

Barrett Watten:

[...] we wanted a big canvas, of time and space, so unlike the twenty-five minute limit of poetry readings now. (64)

There is no difference between myself and what I do, all day every day, except that I myself am suspended in that difference: this is not me. (70)

The silence of everyday life is that it passes without memory, without recording. If only we could write that silence, we would return to everyday life. (81)

Rae Armantrout:

I identified with that kid even as he distracted me and messed up my handwriting (so that I crossed my "k"s). So the noise becomes the signal. (87)

Ted Pearson:

Everyday life requires an exercise of faith: that daily practice, each next word, will attend what is, as it is, and lead to what might be otherwise. (89)

Ron Silliman:

The second stage [of the Talks] was much more organized than the first. For one thing, everybody had talked about the first thing that came to mind already. (134)

Steve Benson:

[...] in Language writing, "self" became [...] all sorts of things, and next to nothing, but always something else. It didn't vanish, it just wasn't willing to be taken for granted anymore [...] (138-139)

--Are you saying you transcended your potential tendencies toward narcissistic self-preoccupation by--
--No, they were incorporated into it [...] The narcissism kept getting recycled by the social [...] Isn't political action predicated on identifying its practice with getting something one finds or believes one needs? (140)

(and plenty of other passages that aren't excerptable)


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