All writing starts from a seed, or even a series of seeds, the synthesis of which is at its root, an idea The simplest of such balances, of course, is morality. Nonetheless, this writing is conceptual in the sense that other, more traditional forms of writing, are not.
Email this page Conceptual writing and concrete poetry have a lot in common: By employing the use of icon-based imagery poem as imageconcrete poetry sought an international readership based on seeing rather than on reading.
Conceptual writing, now nearly fifteen years old, has assumed a broad international following. Skeletal as it is—this is a history in progress, unfolding daily—it sets the stage fuller future investigation. The term was coined inin the title for The UbuWeb Anthology of Conceptual Writing, a gallery of on-line works that brought together texts from the traditions of Conceptual Art, the OuLiPo, and avant-garde poetry.
A printed volume, Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing Northwestern University Pressdeveloped from that on-line collection, but would not be published for another eight years, by which time the idea behind the name had morphed.
Although it used the same titular phrase "anthology of conceptual writing"the book presented a far more focused genre of writing than the website, and it made a diametrically opposite argument.
Indeed, as became evident at the conference Conceptual Poetry and Its Others, organized by Marjorie Perloff for conceptual writing anthology bungalow University of Arizona Poetry Center in the summer ofthe label "conceptual writing" resonated in a peculiar way: The topic thus had its first academic conference before it was anthologized, and its first anthology, in turn, before it had developed an in-house journal.
While one can retrospectively trace emergent tendencies back to occasional issues of certain periodicals—Chain edited by Juliana Spahr and Jenna OsmanObject ed.
Fitterman and Kim RosenfieldNypoesi ed. To be sure, the venerable Poetry magazine had included a portfolio in its summer issue, pitting Flarf in a fixed fight against Conceptual Writing, but with only a half-dozen authors Fitterman and Place included it merely hinted rather than offered any kind of clear or comprehensive definition.
By the same token, Kenneth Goldsmith had publicly tested the phrase in a report for the Poetry Foundation inbut there it appears as just one term among others: Against the expectations established by most literary movements, the initial presentation of the work under the sign of "conceptual writing"—the appearance of poetry as conceptual writing—followed not only its first academic conference but also its first critical monograph: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century, published in Notes on Conceptualisms thus entered the debate, inwith an epic timing belied by its diminutive format: The title "notes on" rather than "notes toward" implies subsequence, but in many ways it came before the establishment of the subject it would seem logically to have to follow.
This history adds another wrinkle to the curious chronology of "conceptual writing," but more importantly it means that Notes simultaneously shaped the field it purported to describe, substantively remolding the subject on which it seems to coldly comment. Notes traces the swirl of a further circle of recursive influence and inflorescent reference.
If the response to previous avant-gardes is any indication, the wider reception of Conceptual Writing will swing between a focused roll-call of clubby signatories and a meaningless inclusiveness.
First will come the anxiously pointed demand for a clear definition: Then, the reverse swerve will try to sidestep definitions altogether by merely naming names: Finally, the reaction will veer back broadly again as otherwise incompatible poetics absorb various surface techniques cataloguing, reframing, appropriating, etc.
That world will not always be the case. Often distinguished from the North American one, which was less directly politicized, Latin-American Conceptualism produced among the most prominent figures of the movement.
Below I list some of the most interesting cases: All quotes have to do with condemnation and contempt for the human kind.
Many of their works were language-based. Even after the Workshop ended inthe Uruguayan conceptualist Camnitzer kept using words and sentences as primary elements of his ouvre. One of the last examples is Memorial Among various experiments by poets and novelists I would pinpoint the following two: Here one can interchange the strips of paper containing the verses, but can also modify the sequence of the pages thanks to the special binding of the book.
The only words are to be found in the para-text:[page iii] FOREWORD. In August the Central Advisory Council for Education (England) were asked by Sir Edward Boyle, the then Minister of Education, to consider the whole subject of primary education and the transition to secondary education.
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Even I must say this: "Against Expression" is not "the" perfect anthology. First things first: it is obviously rather partisan, in a trojan horse kind of way. It is not just of, but (especially) "for" conceptual writing (and in quite a polemic way, as if expression is necessarily excluded by the use of conceptual techniques).4/5.
Against Expression, An Anthology of Conceptual Writing - Editors Craig Dworkin and Kenneth Goldsmith have put together an expansive collection of conceptual writing—an emergent early 21st century movement practiced by poets such as Christian Bök, Caroline Bergvall, Robert Fitterman, Vanessa Place, Darren Wershler-Henry, and many more.
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