Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Avant-Post

Avant-Post: The Avant-Garde under “Post-” Conditions (ISBN 80-7308-123-7, pbk., 300 pp.) has recently been published by the Prague-based press, Litteraria Pragensia. This book, a collection of essays edited by Louis Armand, focuses on “the question of whether or not avant-garded practice remains viable under the prevailing conditions of a whole series of ‘post’- ideologies” (as the blurb sums it up)(i.e. postmodernism, post-structuralism, etc.). It includes a fantastic lineup of poets and critics such as Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Johanna Drucker, Pierre Joris, Lisa Jarnot, Robert Archambeau, Christian Bök, Mairéad Byrne, and many others, including – last but hopefully not least – myself. It seems like a great book (I haven’t read it yet, but my copy is supposed to be in the mail).

My article is “The Ancients Have Returned Among Us: Polaroids of 21st Century Irish Poetry.” As the title suggests, it is something of a recent history of Irish poetry, roughly of the non-“mainstream” variety, through the lens of The Burning Bush (which I edited from 1999 to 2004). It is therefore rather subjective, and deals with some writers, controversies, and recent developments which struck me as interesting and/or important. I will say no more for now, and hope that everyone buys the book.

5 comments:

Liammac said...

Would you include Pynchon , Barth and Gass as avant-garde ? David Foster Wallace has , for the most part , become very establishment. Franzen seems like a poseur.

Mike Begnal said...

I don't know, I think the 'avant-garde' thing is just a convenient shorthand... Pynchon writes some difficult texts, but not that difficult really if you think about it...

Liammac said...

I suppose , for me , a healthy disrespect for literary decorum is my defintion of avant-garde. Pynchon's sublime silliness sometimes underscores his narrative innovations. Joyce's finest moment in Ulysses ,in this blogger's opinion , is the brilliantly silly line '' they creepycrawl after Blake's buttocks into eternity ...'' I suppose , Joyce answers in advance the question proposed by Pynchon's Negentropical Travel Guide. Nick Chaos , my travel agent , has booked a Negentropical Holiday for me somewhere in late mid-eternity. And judging by my mirror's image , my friend , it is getting very late.Excuse the silliness , Mike.

Liammac said...

P.S. I am really a blasted entrope , as I wind down and uncoil a little more every second in a backdrop of meaningless randomness. Unless , to continue my philosophastry , we are --as Johnny Irish a.k.a. Erigena says- subsumed into the equation of equations. No , I'm not drunk.I am a colapot. Caffeine buzz , I suppose.

Mike Begnal said...

Ah, but you write interesting comments...