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Conceptual Coda Darren Wershler

the tapeworm foundry as (mal)content

In this plateau, I would like to characterize the tapeworm foundry as “(mal)content,” a more or less throwaway term that Wershler uses in his exchange on the poetry website, Circulars, with fellow poet and digital humanist Brian Kim Stefans for the anthology New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories. Before I get into what exactly […]

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Conceptual Coda Darren Wershler

Handwriting the tapeworm foundry

I end the plateaus-proper with a couple of posts on another wildly popular text of conceptual poetics, Darren Wershler’s (who at the time published under the name Darren Wershler-Henry) the tapeworm foundry (2000), a book I have personally enjoyed a great deal since discovering it many years ago. While I had always planned on ending […]

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Christian Bok Conceptual Coda

Why Do We Keep Buying It?: Looking at the Reader of _Eunoia_

If my first plateau on Eunoia tended to focus on its authorship, then I’d like to spend this plateau looking carefully at the ways in which this text interacts with its readers. Eunoia is a particularly interesting example to look at these issues in that, despite its positioning as a radically experimental text, the book […]

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Christian Bok

Sisyphus Shrugged: The Poetics of Work in Eunoia

To begin talking about Christian Bök’s landmark text, Eunoia, I would like to return to a tactic I used primarily in my discussions of John Cage and Jackson Mac Low by looking primarily at the process of the work’s production. What I would like to argue here is that while Cage’s Cunningham mesostics and Mac […]

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Conceptual Coda Vanessa Place

Get Traumatized: Reading Statement of Facts as Binge-Watching Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

As with my second plateau on Goldsmith, I am interested in the ways that the reader of Statement of Facts is made less free in the process of his or her reading. Obviously, this argument is a controversial one; after all, conceptualism is predicated on the lack of intention on the part of the author, […]

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Conceptual Coda Vanessa Place

Vanessa Place: Stating Authoritatively

The first book in Vanessa Place’s Tragodía trilogy, Statement of Facts, has—like the Goldsmith text of my last section—caused quite a stir in the poetry community. Place is a poet who works her day job as a lawyer representing sex offenders, and Statement of Facts sees her reframing the narratives of her work, appropriated from […]

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Conceptual Coda Kenneth Goldsmith

The Wizard of Soliloquy: Affect and the Digital Conceptual Text

In Uncreative Writing, Goldsmith cites Marjorie Perloff’s idea in Unoriginal Genius that an updated concept of literary genius would account for “one’s mastery of information and its dissemination” (1), and would thus have nothing to do with the dissemination or transport of affect, emotion, or feeling. In many ways, Goldsmith’s numerous poetic projects carried out […]

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Conceptual Coda Kenneth Goldsmith

Kenneth Goldsmith’s “truly populist” Soliloquy

I would like to start to bring this project to a close by way of a coda on conceptual writing, which will last for the next four weeks and will include two five-page discussions on each of the following four poets commonly associated with the conceptual school: Kenneth Goldsmith, Vanessa Place, Christian Bök, and Darren […]