Blog of the AMM

A Ken Fox: Frigment of a Contribution to the Critique of Poetics

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Ken Fox on “poetry” — in response to the Late Lunch With Out To Lunch broadcast versus two footnotes in J.H. Prynne’s Mental Ears & Poetic Work.

“It is self-evident that nothing concerning art is self-evident anymore, not its inner life, not its relation to the world, not even its right to exist”
Theodor Adorno (opening sentence of Aesthetic Theory)

“Or any art at all?”
Frank Zappa, on being told that he blurred the boundary between high and low art.

If you take “poetry” as the point of departure, it would be a very vague
notion of a complex whole and thru closer definition you might arrive analytically at simpler & simpler things — a spoken phrase, a spelled word, a phoneme, a set of lips, a letter, a breath, a tongue — & then make the return journey & rearrive at poetry, which is now not a vague notion of a complex whole, but a totality comprising many determinations and relations.

The concrete is concrete because it is a synthesis of many cemented stones, thus representing a unity of diversity. “Poetry” is only a concept by virtue of a cluster of related symptoms that do not point to any originary disease, unless that disease is something all-encompassing such as capitalism or some earlier historical nightmare. “Poetry” can never be correctly diagnosed except in relation to other things which are not poetry — related forms like dada & hip hop & preaching & prose, but also dreams, arguments, political protest, mouth noises, commercial transactions, improvisations by 4-year-old forecasters, fridge-magnet-scrabble-concoctions of political heat. Poetry can then reappear as a result our ongoing collective speech, and not as the starting point, although it is in fact the real point of origin, and thus also the point of origin of perception and imagination.

Long Live the AMM!

Ken Fox, xii-2012

Ken leans heavily on Karl Marx’s Introduction to a Contribution to the Critique ofPolitical Economy of 1859.

more from Ken on Unkant >>

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