Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Vogon or Flarf? (via Silliman)


From the comment stream on Silliman's blog:

Quoting from (and riposting to) Peter Burger's Theory of the Avant-Garde to suggest its obsolescence, Kenny Goldsmith wrote:

"'For in literature, there is no technical innovation that could have produced an effect comparable to that of photography in the fine arts.' Now there is."


So I called my friend Richard Prince on the phone and read him Goldsmith's passage above, and he paused and laughed this kind of blank, haughty laugh, and said:

"Dang! If only Burger were still around to write the sequel, and show how Conceptual Poetry and Flarf are breakthrough, authentic, autonomous poetic-critical formations, and not, as the confused or envious wrongly perceive, yet more accretion of carefully calculated Neo-avant-garde "institution of Art" phenomena!"

"But all those modifiers, Richard... Surely you're being ironic and self-mocking!" I said.

"No," he said. "I'm absolutely freaking serious."
--Kent Johnson

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