Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Collage Poetry is Bullshit

How many times have we heard that collage technique is the signature method of post-modernity? Let me translate: "I can’t think of a very good line, so I’m going to steal somebody else’s shit. Then I’m going to lionize my theft by thinking of it as post-modern. I’m going to recycle somebody else’s novel or poem or whatever 'discourse' and benight it under my Barthesian halo."

The whole “culture of belatedness” routine is a theoretical contrivance. All of the noise about the “death of the author” and the “death of literature” and the “death of the notion of originality” is a load of apocalyptic camel dung. These people remind me of those Fundamentalist stormtroopers prophesying the end of the world, only instead of being evangelical Christians, they are evangelizing the latest-greatest French post-whogivesafuck. Every generation of artists has had their faction that felt like they had arrived “too late” to produce work the way their predecessors did—and so had to find some new method. That’s fine, if it really produces a new method. Your computer’s cut-and-paste function ain't it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Collage (paste ups) can still be a useful technique...but then you need to read your work out loud over and over, both to yourself as well as to others, in order to make sure that it has a semblance of emotional (musical) and even logical sense.

You shouldn't disregard the importance of making some sense! If your work is only disordered mystery you'll go nowhere. A hard integument, that's what we need my boys! A hard integument!

Obviously, if you can't write cogent and organized prose the use of collage will just get you into trouble. That is, most collagists are merely scene makers

8:56 AM, April 28, 2005  
Blogger Ginger Pennebaker said...

Many times collage is the signature modernity.

a very good line.

Lionize my theft, recycle my halo.

Routine is noise,
the death of the apocalyptic.

Christian post-artists
had their produce and computer.

1:04 PM, April 29, 2005  
Blogger cecil touchon said...

1) 10/26/00 11:48:09 AM

What are Heaven and Hell? They are the results of
a person who recites fluently and proficiently
obscuring most of the text on each page -
willingly surrendering the remaining text.

Faced with difficulty and hardship in pronunciation,
sky slaw tumbles through your mouth.
Funneled gnats [of cliché meanings] dimly emerge.

Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.

Republicans understand the importance of bondage:
weed out all, one by one.
Is it necessary to say something? If not, keep quiet.
Ninety percent of all troubles will be avoided.

Here's my two cents: a retreating army's silence.
We're all capable of mistakes,
but I do not care to enlighten you
of secrets never intended to reach your eyes.

a collage poem by Cecil Touchon

5:27 PM, September 29, 2006  

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