J=o=u=i=s=s=a=n=c=e Knows Best
PS: I misread “you” instead of the “I” you have. How does this change the tone of the text? How does this change the idiomatic expression itself: â€œI break for strangersâ€ or â€œI will rock you like a hurricaneâ€ or â€œthe children are our futureâ€? How does this change the sense of a dialogue between a subject and an object of desire on the skintight highroad of language?
the words we use have a social effect
such as when a judge pronounces you â€œguiltyâ€ or when a matrimonial couple utters â€œI doâ€ or when land reform protesters scream
On May 11, the following event will take place in Bucharest, Romania at the cafÃ© called Tramvaiul Douazeci Si Sase:
Sweet Little Nothings: Contemporary Romanian Poets on Nihilism
Many recent poets have announced the death of postmodernism and the quick and subsequent births of Conceptual Writing, Fracturism, Flarf, Post-Avant Poetry, Slow Poetry, and so on. But is the age of deconstructing the metaphysics of history, god, and self indeed over in contemporary Romanian poetry? Otherwise put: what does it mean to write if nothing matters? What topics do self-conscious (and history-conscious) poets write about after the theory that the center does not hold no longer holds? Is Cioran still relevant when he claims that the most heroic thing for modern man to do is commit suicide? What kind of nothing do you believe in? What kind of nothing do your poems represent? Which nihilism represents you as a poet: Nietschean fecundity or confessional solipsism or another? Do you prefer toÂ lose your past, your faith, your self in the infinite music of the void through Dionysian excess or in puritanical minimalism with its hidden Apollonian authority or in some other direction? How do your poems â€œtake responsibility for their freedomâ€ as Sartre put it? Camus found relief when the Sisyphean bolder was rolling back down the mountain. Where do you find relief? Is finding relief and closure why you write your poems?
This roundtable invites 5-6 poets to offer a definition and a poem showing what nihilism means to them and to their poems in 5 minutes. After these brief provocations, the audience is expected to harass the poets with questions about how Romantic (see John Keatsâ€™ negative capability) they still are to think they can live in OR represent the nothingness of being. Bring your potato salad. The objective of these brief presentations and hoped-for audience response is not to make moral progress toward a True contemporary Romanian poetry but to make aesthetic progress by becoming more self-aware of our habits of mind.
Images courtesy of:Â 1280Â Ã—Â 1024Â -Â stilpu.org
Â A PDF version of the following post (with o so handsome formatting) is available for download here:
Tanta completed his MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2000 and his PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin in 2009 with literary specialization in twentieth-century American poetry, first-generation American poets, and the European Avant-garde. His journal publications include: Ploughshares, EPOCH, Circumference Magazine, Exquisite Corpse, Watchword, Columbia Poetry Review, The Laurel Review, and Drunken Boat. Currently, he is editing two anthologies of poetry while teaching literature in the American Studies Program at the University of Bucharest in Romania as a Fulbright Scholar.
Latest posts by Gene Tanta (see all)
- The absence of Romanian feminism - June 18, 2013
- Are immigrants better at putting deconstruction to work? - May 22, 2013
- J=o=u=i=s=s=a=n=c=e Knows Best - April 18, 2013