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Countertexting one another: conceptual poetics, Flarf and Derridean countersignature

Milesi, Laurent 2015. Countertexting one another: conceptual poetics, Flarf and Derridean countersignature. CounterText 1 (2) , pp. 207-231. 10.3366/count.2015.0018

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Abstract

Using the precedent of Charles Bernstein’s spoof on Charles Olson’s ‘Projective Verse’ poetics manifesto as part of a long contextual introduction on issues of literary filiation, influence and intertextuality, this essay analyses the recent exchanges between conceptualist poetry (Vanessa Place, Kenneth Goldsmith’s ‘uncreative writing’) and ‘flarf’ (Drew Gardner) in the light of Derrida’s twin notions of signature and countersignature. In the process it ties together reading and writing(-as-rereading) in response and co-responsibility in order to theorize the critical notion of ‘countertextuality’ as a more contemporary inflection of the mechanics of literary interaction known as intertextuality, better suited to characterize the textual interaction between current poetic movements. The critical apparatus and developments in the footnotes are also conceived as a creative enactment of the countertext, whose final instance (the epilogue, or ‘Necrologue’) is a parodic rewriting performatively exposing the creative impasse and derivativeness of several recent textual productions mimicking Sol LeWitt’s ‘Sentences on Conceptual Art’. As it moves towards its final critical part, the essay also puts forward, while enacting them, more general views about the relative sterility of some aspects of contemporary poetic debates while gesturing for a possible way out, via Felix Bernstein’s ‘Notes on Postconceptual Poetry’, in order to reclaim ‘the genuinely imaginary-affective-intellectual fabric and texture of the poetical’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Uncontrolled Keywords: Flarf, countertext, Charles and Felix Bernstein, Drew Gardner, Vanessa Place, Kenneth Goldsmith, post-conceptual poetry, counter-signature, creative writing.
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISSN: 2056-4406
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2019 10:34
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/77987

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