The Language Book (Poetics of the New)

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9780809311064: The Language Book (Poetics of the New)

Ok murky in alter all end, unpredictable day, with rainshine any degree night, the sun kin warm and hot. Enough stone or other jugs lineup of whatever is In Through Out That’s light as much as known Differences evanesce Like, where and/or what on the equator might be french or spanish Longitude and latitude, yep yep sure Americana.” Larry Eigner, commentary on a selection from Ger­trude Stein’s Tender Buttons

This selection of essays and poetry from the first three volumes of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E magazine dis­cusses a spectrum of writing that places its attention primarily on language and ways of making meaning, that takes for granted neither vocabulary, grammar, process, shape, syntax, program, nor sub­ject matter.” (Bernstein and Andrews) The various writers shun labels, slogans, or catch-phrases; their exploration of the ways that meanings and values are re­vealed through the written word is in­tended to open the field of poetic activity, not close it.

The common thread of these essays is the multitude and scope of words’ refer­ential powers denotative, connotative, and associational; and studying these powers is ultimately a social and political activity as well as an aesthetic one.

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About the Author:

Bruce Andrews’ essays are collected in Paradise & Method: Poetics & Praxis. Recent books of poetry and performance scores in collaboration with choreographer Sally Silvers include Ex Why Zee, Tizzy Boost, I Don’t Have Any Paper So Shut Up, and Give Em Enough Rope. Andrews teaches political science at Fordham University in New York City.

Charles Bernstein is the author of twenty collections of poetry, including Republics of Reality: Poems 1975-1995, Dark City, and Rough Trades, and two collections of essays, Content’s Dream: Essays 1975-1984 and A Poetics. He is David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he teaches in the Poetics Program.

Review:

In 1978, a new magazine appeared on the American poetry scene. The magazine, strangely titled L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, became during its four years of publication a main forum for a group of young writers keen to engage in theoretical speculation and debate about their medium. L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E disappeared in 1981, but its name has lingered on, mainly as a means of designating a highly varied body of work which was shaped by the emerging protocols of the magazine.” Peter Middleton, Contemporary Poetry Meets Modern Theory



The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book was instrumental, not simply to laying a foundation for an urgently needed new sense of writing, but to vividly ar­ticulating the multidisciplinary and polytextual sweep of this writing’s core investigations.” Loss Pequeño Glazier, Dictionary of Literary Biography

L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E is a perpetual intellectual delight, especially wel­come for its cogent reviews of small press publications. The editors, who are just as much at ease with Walter Benjamin and Gertrude Stein as . . . Tom Raworth, offer a wide variety of critical materials. . . . The perceptive re­views and comments make this a small gem.” Bill Katz, Library Journal

 

For over twenty years, in magazines such as L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E this movement has given us a body of writing that may be the most signifi­cant since the modernists.” Hank Lazer, The Nation

 

An essential source. With its blend of voices and crisscrossing dialogues, the book has an almost novelistic density.” Voice Literary Supplement

 

It is one of the first journals to extend directly from a concern for language as a ground base for poetry and one of the few magazines to provide an open forum for discussions of poetics by the writers themselves.” Michael Davidson, Archive for New Poetry Newsletter

 

Apropos favorite books of the past year’s reading ... I read more absorbedly books like L=A =N=G=U=A=G=E than I did much else.” Robert Creeley, The Poetry Project Newsletter

 

Attempting to make it new.” Donald Hall, Times Literary Supplement

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