Monday, November 3, 2008, 04:37:00 CST:
I've had email problems recently so don't know if my last email reached you. I had asked what if anything you both felt was new re: prosetics volume since I scoured the web in 2001. An answer to my question came today in the form of Biting the Error, an anthology from 2004 from the editors of Narrativity where I had posted a query in 2001. You probably already know this. I read several reviews of the book, and it seems the New Narrative, begun in CA in the 1970s, was a retort to L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E writers (excuse me for omitting equal signs); its practitioners by extension today are sometimes queer and transgendered and for some of them, the goal is sex writing. The sex of writing. On sex writing, more in a moment. About LGBT, there's little on the web about transgendered wo/men, and by that I do not mean wo/men who wish to become the other sex surgically nor who believe themselves to have been born the other sex or transvestites. I mean transgendered as in transgressed, to the point of not feeling membership in one's own or the other gender -- or perhaps gender transcended --personally or aesthetically. On sex, what more is there to say about American censorship? I write sex fairly well, and could, perhaps should, but it isn't what I was thinking about censorship -- elitism, politics, aesthetics, beliefs, competition -- when I was thinking it in the early 90s. I went to ebr and started reading archives, something I hadn't done in a while. There has been quite a lot of new scholarship on postmodernist writing practices among African-American writers. That I'd followed in the form of African-American modernism or post- by definition. I'm at this point thinking there's less reason to do an anthology of essays unless we have something "other" to add to the argument that personal cultural marginalization creates/demands formal experimentation. It -- experimental -- has been defined as marginalization for now. Linearity is reportedly a bugaboo in Biting the Error, and according to one detractor, the book doesn't pin down what fails whom why -- writer/reader -- when and when not, in "linear" narration. I don't know if you saw Zadie Smith's dismissal of postmodernism in the recent NYR of B – postmodernism has concluded as a limited experiment, she writes. I see much more than she to love about writers such as Swift and Barthelme and Borges and Calvino and Lorrie Moore, and in the shorter fiction forms. There are hidden topics -- one is failure, either of the artist to create significant art -- to claim or suggest aesthetic or other marginalization as a limitation unrelated to that -- or for the art to fail to succeed with a wider audience. And commercial issues. WπHπAπT is the change in language practices that people are wary of or unable to control or define, especially in terms of prose/fiction? Defined as: Style, design as opposed to form, though "formal" creeps into usage, as in "formal innovation." Even as "etiquette." Dismissed as "voice." But look, a writer I met here who wrote a memoir of her family is teaching experimental writing around the country. It's not based on how she writes but perhaps on whom she likes socially or whom she reads. I read another roster of names of professors of experimental writing -- one I went to school w/ who wrote in the modernist and Southern traditions – yet whose practice pieces read like he was imitating Mark Twain. That was young or early, a difference. I imitated, too, one writer per story, for 12 stories –- I’m guessing -- including Barthelme after he had died, like a daughter impersonating a father. Prose inventors. Prose inventions. Inventions in prose. We could invent a litmus test for that and explicitly declare what it is. Or not.
I wrote too soon that I could get financing. I am more solvent than in 2001. I'm caring for a nasty alcoholic day and night and meeting many people while befriending few -- I can't easily use the phone at home because he's so often ranting unprintables. The computer is supposed to be off-limits, but I prevail and use it, anyway amid a hailstorm of accusations that using a computer is the real mental illness & that bipolar is fake. A din. A stinking and loud place. He must be the “producer.” Am possibly moving possibly an hour faster than here on the Hudson -- details pending. Not to a man, for a man nor myself a man.
I'm working here w/ a Stanford Ph.D. who thought of everything 7 years after my frame of reference though she's 7 years older than I. Stanfords apparently don't believe in cw as training and have tons of academic cw credits and credits w/ the non-academic poetic community. To the point now of thinking that the only point is to write as well as I can.
WπHπAπT 2 at Fictionaut, July 24, 2012: http://fictionaut.com/stories/ann-bogle/w%CF%80h%CF%80a%CF%80t-2