Sunday, March 29, 2009

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Official gibberish is not all that new. Especially if deployed in sustained, strophic fashion (scroll down to the bottom).

Why are the contemporary texts ("Howl" notwithstanding) that so often inspire censorship, so... disappointing? And give rise to ripostes that also lack something. When Virginia Woolf was supporting Radclyffe Hall during the obscenity trial as a result of The Well of Loneliness, she wrote privately, with almost audible sigh, that she didn’t think it was a very good book.

We need some more insult poetry. Truly. There was Catullus. Then a long gap. And... who? No, really. I want to know. In a similar vein, one of the most enjoyable revenge poems I’ve read is “Disjunction” by Kate Daniels (from Four Testimonies), where she describes squirting breast milk into her office trashcan, all over the dean’s “debatable policy on sexual harassment.” Now that’s an objective correlative.

I heard this 10 years ago in undergrad from my German professor, but Kafka is actually very funny. And not so much with the frigid, nebbishy, torment.

So very behind the curve on this (did I mention that I’m not attached to an institution of higher learning?), but I just love the very idea of Seven Types of Ambiguity. It’s like having a limited view of infinity.

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