Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I wondered if only someone who didn't feel mentally or emotionally tortured would say that, or would rock about in his or her seat quite so vigorously as Bonney, and I doodled him reading:
Friday, October 26, 2007
For someone mad enough to document the ins and outs of his existence for his readership (or his 'thinkership', as it was described) and genius enough to be compared to Joyce, Kenny G is a really friendly man. Well he is a radio DJ; and he has the soundbites to boot. We were gathered in the hallowed halls of the British Library to watch a new film about him, Sucking on Words. Some such 'suckable' words he gave us included the following, about his own books: 'I fall asleep when I proof read the things, but I love the fact that they exist'. And a battle-cry for conceptual writers: 'We don't need the new sentence, the old sentence reformed is good enough.'
He also likes hats. And he presumably likes Caroline Bergvall, who was there too, and who is also very friendly. We sat outside a pub, and we were all serenaded by some crazy X-Factor-reject-human-juke-box. He was very friendly as well. Perhaps he's the James Joyce of the 21st century, because I'm more inclined to think Kenneth Goldsmith is the literary Marcel Duchamp. Well anyway, if he'd like to claim either of those elusive epithets, good because they must be long overdue somebody or other.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
On the other side of the coin, and the other side of town, I saw a 'scratch' performance of a piece that Julian Fox is working on with Patrizia Paolina. Fox is apparently always himself, as he showed when playing different characters, each one 'written' by the last. Donning different wigs without so much as a nod or a wink towards a different speech pattern or a way of gesturing specific to another character, he showed us that everyone is kind of the same. Patrizia Paolina is kind of the same as Julian Fox, for example, just more prone to swearing and talking in different languages. The moments they interacted, such as the comtemporary dance between a boring designer and his new wife that revealed the meaninglessness of their existence, and the death song duet for accordian and trumpet that revealed, well, the meaningless of their existence, those moments were thoroughly sublime.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Someone with a more diasporic relationship to her diphthongs was the French-Norwegian Anglophone, Caroline Bergvall (below). Brilliantly, she had found in the Canterbury tales the exact point in time where the sound of the English language most resembled her own accent. Her joyful reworking of Chaucer, in which she grouped together all his food references, sparkled off her tongue and allowed her to confidently move into a mix of Chaucerian and her own English for her second reading.
It was when Bergvall was commissioned to write a piece in Norwegian for the online poetry journal Nypoesi that she really came up against her linguistic anxieties, and in doing so created a very moving piece, Cropper.
Friday, September 21, 2007
'He's among the most beloved and celebrated poets of our time. Now he's the poet laureate on mtvU,' boasts the homepage of the website. Will this mean anything to anyone? Are they suggesting that Ashbery has reached the pinnacle of his career, that being poet-in-residence on MTV is tantamount to winning the Nobel prize for literature? I can't help but disagree. It's far more exciting than that.