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Artifice of Absorption

I am really digging Berstein's "Artifice of Absorption." I read parts of it a while back, but I wasn't ready.

Berstein says/writes: "Antiabsorptive does not necessarily mean nonentertaining . . . readers can be expected to enjoy a device that ruptures the commodification of reading insofar as this fulfills their desire for such a work."

I am wondering about absorption and antiabsorption in terms of Bob Hicok and Dean Young. Both are said to straddle the line between official verse culture and avant (although Hicok may just be official verse culture). I can absorb almost all of Bob Hicok and I am entertained. Dean Young has a lot of antiabsorption and it's entertaining. Bob Hicok has many of the characteristics of official verse culture: a lot of poems about his father, epiphanies at the end of the poem etc.

I enjoy the NY school poets because they make me uncomfortable but they are also highly entertaining. I also enjoy Lisa Jarnot and Matthew Rohrer for the same reason. It's the use of images in both cases. It's such a tricky thing, the balance of absorption and antiabsorption.

So many books of contemp poetry resist commodification but may also explode in the night sky without much consequence. Just the latest newest coolest to celebrate the latest newest coolest. Which in the end taps into the whole capitalist insistence on pseudo novelty (not much difference).

The genuine difference versus the ingenuine difference. The difference in good faith versus the difference in bad faith. Surely, thus, not all difference resists commodification, absorption. Antiabsorptive techniques for absorptive ends implies the techniques of the antiabsorptive must shift and recreate a lot, especially to keep up with the armies.

Let the invasion be recontextualized. It's not out there it's in here.


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Another Ireland: Part Two
Maurice Scully, The Basic Colours. Durham, UK: Pig Press, 1994.
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I began the first half of this article (Notre Dame Review #4) by mentioning some of the limits to the legendary hospitality Ireland has shown to its poets. If you arrive in Ireland from any point of departure outside of Eastern Europe, you will indeed find a public far more willing than the one you left behind to grant poets the recognition all but the most ascetic secretly crave. However, this hospitality has never extended to Irish poets w…