Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Rebuttal, A Contextualization, and a Path

Synthesize jive controls.... 
from _Who Dat?_ by 'Guinea' Lamb Brazenose

Today on John Latta's Isola di Rifiuti he leaves us a post called A Short History of the Fragment, which really isn't that, but even the title of his piece serves perfectly to preface my rebuttal.

Or is it a rebuttal? Let's alter that slightly, and give this as an instance of Rebu-tol, a Rebu(s) pastille (pill) as avatar of the pharmakon's contentious seeming, for when we read anything, we are either generous (prone to hermeneutic lubrication / process), or  unforgiving (as likely to truncate, make flat, look no further, flatter
the unflattered literal / littoral, looking for no omens of that general and benthic profundus available in the coagulus of self with other, ie, political filtering). To wit(h), Judgement rather than association.

JL chooses to start off his contextualisation of the modern valorization of the fragment with a fragment from Eliot, “fragments . . . shored against . . . ruins”.. and then proceeds to use a few of Kenner's examples
from his work The Pound Era including Swineburn's de-epigraphy of a Sapphic fragment. Well, for one thing, the valorization of ruins, which includes fragments, albeit in their unshored form, perhaps, is / was a product of The Romantics, not the Moderns, and Pound finds plenty of room for romantic notions, as well as romantic fragments. Or is it just that images can record other images. Now, I'm not really here to say that there is no difference in Modernism and Romanticism, but in terms of the valorization of fragments, even in classical times, much of what constitutes myth, ritual, and even word form, is born out of a matrix of constitutionalizing and fragmented elements, their memory-ruins / modulation / interpetation, and this is a fundamental problem-beneficence. In fact, what seems to be the upshot of JL's approach to A Short History is exactly that posed by another of Eliot's fragments, namely Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata. (Give. Sympathize. Control.)

What he wants you to know is that Silliman's 'wash' contains no pithy or 'radiant gists':

No radiant gists in that wash—verbiage, broken and current, is all. A leveling occurs: “some far suburb’s mall lot” equals “to sweat is to know” equals “ink as blood or pus” equals “‘Outsource Bush.’” Not exactly “champion expansion”—but in a similar realm, hyper-attending to a pandemonium of bits makes its own dull rhapsody wherein naught shines.

So let's give John a little taste of "Champion Expansion" against his dull comparisoning..

Look at Silliman's line:

Words torn, unseen, unseemly, scene

Okay, let's DO THAT [my doing will be the bolded text]:

Words torn, unseen, unseemly, scene
some far suburb’s mall lot
Summer’s theme: this year’s humid
—to sweat is to know—
pen squeezed too tight yields
ink as blood or pus
so the phrase scraped, removed
offending thine eye: “Outsource Bush”
Against which, insource what? Who
will do it? Most terrible
predicate—high above mountains snow-capped
even in August in-flight motion
picture Eternal Sunshine of the
Spotless Mind infuriates many No
action, no funny, plot too
dense to follow, unless (unless!)
mind’s eye gives attention . . .

Now, just as a side note, let's contextualize both the critic and the poet in terms of a Euripidean fragment:

Which is a pretty bald statement about priest-craft, and how ζωὴ (Zoe) life is controlled by entrainment, how mass entrainment renders one a god. But we don't want to be that kind of god, or maybe we do..
I can't decide!

But just think about the parallels between Pound / Dionysos, or poet / critic, or reader / writer..

1. Pound is busted for Fascism. Dionysos is the quarry of the hunt and the sacrificial animal, both of which are eaten raw (ie, Pound as uninterpeted.)

2. Pound introduces decontextualized fragments, and incorrectly (creatively) translated ideograms into his poetry. Dionysos is also known as Omadios and Omestes (he who is fed with raw meat) to whom a sacrificial meal is offered, a mystery meal of the Cretans who once in each trieteris rent a living bull with their teeth.

Which would allow us to slip in our Silli-man(t)ic fragment's sense


gives // us

Cretins, as those uninitiated to the humo(u)r of choosing one competing cultus of Bull over another,
and the trouble it can get you into!

On that note perhaps Pound's own August Eternal Papyrus should read:

Spring . . . . . . .
Too long . . . . . .
[Gong]-- (u-laugh) . . . . . .

too long gone (to care..) sheesh. whatever [see flarf]..

There is also the fact that, well, Swineburne's name calls to mind roasting pig, and also that there is some
recent critical consideration, say in, Jerome J. McGann's _Swineburne: An Experiment in Criticism_ to the point that contrary to charges of diffuseness and imprecision, S, is in fact, accretive, and rings changes on motifs which are continually juxtaposed with one another to create matrices of meaning, something that still seems a little bland, namely in the pedestrian unqualified assertion of what meaning means.. But, you can see here an echo, or rather a rebuttal of sorts, some rebutol, on just what Silliman might be up to formally.

Now why JL moves from a discussion of HOW fragments are attended into a valorization of WHY coupled to an assertion that Silliman is even using fragments, which he patently isn't. It's obvious, that Silliman is using something much more akin to piling up chicherones (which he has every right to do), and which by the looks of things, he has been doing for awhile, ie instead of speaking of Silliman's Swineburnean 'chops', we might use a more appropriate term, namely jowls.. We're talking major pork matrix here! But hey, I've been there, I'm a fatty too! Fat Lit versus Skinny Schitzo? That's a hard one!

And as for Sean Bonney's "Now send me some fucking money." He certainly seems to have surpassed Eliot's crypto-imperative Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata. But we can stuff a morsel of roast pig in his snout too:

Data. Dead Ham. Damn Yadda.

And then there's the term gist itself, which though commonly parsed to mean the substance or pith of the matter, actually only registers that sense beginning in 1823, after maybe a century of 'gistation' within the oeconomy of french-inspired enlightenment legalese, by William Cobbet, in Rural Rides, in the Romantic period, no less, but in the more common form of git, Giving us Radiant git! or maybe

Get radiant! [Baby..]

And then there's that other floppy flappy thing with the english G/J the gist jist

that to Give
is to Jive..

And then there is that curious hybrid echo, the monster in the manger of intertextuality, namely
Ron Bush, who mentions here an upcoming anniversary, and all that might mean, or seem to scene
as littoral to the gush of days:

June 5, beach bird's opinion


without Ndaw bpo, nothing solid
(no poor dawbs) [there is no poetry, only poetry]

without Muan bpo, no reality
(Mu and Po, reticence and gush) [there is no poetry, only poetry]

And the Ad Campaign slogan for all of it might read:

What's in your syntaxis today? or just

What gives?

(And thanks for all the fucking money!) [La. Mun. Mi.]

Top Image is of Jerry Lang (A.) from Poison Idea...