Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century

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9780226660622: 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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Marjorie Perloff
Editorial: The University of Chicago Press, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0226660621 ISBN 13: 9780226660622
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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Unoriginal Genius Marjorie Perloff explores a new development in contemporary poetry: the repurposing of other people s words in order to make new works, by framing, citing, and recycling already existing phrases, sentences, and even full texts. Paradoxically, she argues, this unoriginal poetry is more accessible and, in a sense, personal than the hermetic poetry of the 1980s and 90s. Perloff traces this poetics of Unoriginal Genius from one of its paradigmatic works, Walter 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, two movements now understood to be precursors of such hybrid citational texts as Charles Bernstein s opera libretto Shadowtime and Susan Howe s documentary lyric sequence The Midnight . Unoriginal Genius concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmith s conceptualist book Traffic - a seemingly pure transcript of one holiday weekend s worth of radio traffic reports. In these instances and many others, Perloff reveals poetry by other means of great ingenuity, wit, and complexity. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780226660622

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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Unoriginal Genius Marjorie Perloff explores a new development in contemporary poetry: the repurposing of other people s words in order to make new works, by framing, citing, and recycling already existing phrases, sentences, and even full texts. Paradoxically, she argues, this unoriginal poetry is more accessible and, in a sense, personal than the hermetic poetry of the 1980s and 90s. Perloff traces this poetics of Unoriginal Genius from one of its paradigmatic works, Walter 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, two movements now understood to be precursors of such hybrid citational texts as Charles Bernstein s opera libretto Shadowtime and Susan Howe s documentary lyric sequence The Midnight . Unoriginal Genius concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmith s conceptualist book Traffic - a seemingly pure transcript of one holiday weekend s worth of radio traffic reports. In these instances and many others, Perloff reveals poetry by other means of great ingenuity, wit, and complexity. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780226660622

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Descripción University Of Chicago Press, 2012. Estado de conservación: New. 2012. Reprint. Paperback. Explores a new development in contemporary poetry: the repurposing of other people's words in order to make new works, by framing, citing, and recycling already existing phrases, sentences, and even full texts. This book concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmith's conceptualist book "Traffic". Num Pages: 232 pages, 2 colour plates, 40 halftones. BIC Classification: DSBH; DSC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 228 x 157 x 14. Weight in Grams: 418. Poetry by Other Means in the New Century. 232 pages, 2 colour plates, 40 halftones. Explores a new development in contemporary poetry: the repurposing of other people's words in order to make new works, by framing, citing, and recycling already existing phrases, sentences, and even full texts. This book concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmith's conceptualist book "Traffic". Cateogry: (G) General (US: Trade). BIC Classification: DSBH; DSC. Dimension: 228 x 157 x 14. Weight: 478. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780226660622

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Descripción University Of Chicago Press. Estado de conservación: New. 2012. Reprint. Paperback. Explores a new development in contemporary poetry: the repurposing of other people's words in order to make new works, by framing, citing, and recycling already existing phrases, sentences, and even full texts. This book concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmith's conceptualist book "Traffic". Num Pages: 232 pages, 2 colour plates, 40 halftones. BIC Classification: DSBH; DSC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 228 x 157 x 14. Weight in Grams: 418. Poetry by Other Means in the New Century. 232 pages, 2 colour plates, 40 halftones. Explores a new development in contemporary poetry: the repurposing of other people's words in order to make new works, by framing, citing, and recycling already existing phrases, sentences, and even full texts. This book concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmith's conceptualist book "Traffic". Cateogry: (G) General (US: Trade). BIC Classification: DSBH; DSC. Dimension: 228 x 157 x 14. Weight: 478. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780226660622

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