Attention Span 2009 – Jennifer Scappettone
Some works that rocked my taxonomies this twelvemonth:
Hélène Cixous | Ex-Cities | Slought Books | 2006
On cities & revenance, the struggle of the year. “I have known for a long time that one does not go anywhere. It is the cities or the countries that come or do not come to you. Cities are fateful letters. They only arrive lost.”
Manfredo Tafuri | The Sphere and the Labyrinth, read for the second time | MIT | 1987
His books keep blowing me away. Once one has clarified the assumptions, nearly every sentence delivers a mordant perception. “The change wrought by Canaletto upon the urban context of Venice attests to the profound reality of this city for the eighteenth century; to the fact…that the most devastating manipulations are legitimate on an urban organism that has become merely an object at the disposal of the fantasy of a tourist elite.”
Roberto Saviano | Gomorrah | Farrar, Straus and Giroux | 2007
Anyone who wears clothes or deposits trash should read it. Matteo Garrone’s adaptation onto film is equally recommended for the dialect and the architecture. Creepier than neorealism (appropriately, as we’re headed the other way politically).
AES+F (Tatyana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky, Vladimir Fridkes) | The Feast of Trimalchio | Biennale di Venezia | Video | 2009
Tableaux surrounding the Roman plutocrat from the standpoint of Moscow could have been easy high jinks, like Fellini’s. But assumption of the day’s affect of sacral conversation (of videogames that is) makes them mesmerizing. Best viewed against backdrop of live cruise ships hastening the demise of a sinking cosmopolis: this was perhaps unconsciously the festival’s most site-specific work.
Jia Zhangke | The World | Office Kitano | 2004
Makes fateful cinematic diptych with the above, from Beijing.
George Oppen, ed. Stephen Cope | Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers | University of California | 2007
If only Pound could get the message in heaven: “You should have talked / To women”—& much more. Can’t wait to teach Oppen again.
Rob Halpern | Disaster Suites | Palm Press | 2009
Keeps making lyric gutsy. Timely, down to the afterword which wishes the work’s own ephemerality.
David Larsen, ed. and trans. | Names of the Lion by al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn Khalawayh | Atticus/Finch | 2009
David Larsen | neo-benshi performance of the 2004 Wolfgang Petersen film Troy at Flarf Video Festival | May 2009
500 odd epithets for the creature, including “‘Who Destroys Capital’ (?)”64 Want all my history like this, as serial translation.
Rob Fitterman & Vanessa Place | Notes on Conceptualisms | Ugly Duckling | 2009
When two wits like these team up for “thinkership” a primer’s bound to be implosive. A pocketbook that begs for more such pocketbooks.
Tan Lin | Reading from | Segue Series | http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Segue-BPC.html | April 2009
Tons more feed for thought, after filing a piece for boundary 2.
Walter Benjamin & Theodor Adorno | The Complete Correspondence, 1928-1940 | Harvard | 2001
Resisted for a long time, out of loathing for fetishization of biographical being—then torn through in a day, destroyed. The intimate content of research drives its criticality tumultuously home.
Plus several conversation circuits:
Al Filreis, ed. | PoemTalk | Poetry Foundation, PennSound & Kelly Writers House podcast | http://poemtalkatkwh.blogspot.com/ (subscribable through iTunes) | 2008-, monthly
You get the writer uttering and writers that read disagreeing live. Amazing for modeling close reading, & makes even the dreariest commutes curious.
Herman Melville | “A Utilitarian View of the Monitor’s Fight” & other poems | annotations brought on by Wild Orchids, a new review, Ed. Sean Reynolds
Incredible that only specialists (i.e. “Americanists”) seem to read Melville’s body of verse. The journal, out of Buffalo, will be reintroducing glorious pages to consciousness.
Belladonna | Elders Series | Belladonna | 2008-09
#1: E. Tracy Grinnell/Leslie Scalapino; #2: Rachel Levitsky/Erica Kaufman/Sarah Schulman/Bob Gluck; #3: Tisa Bryant/Chris Kraus; #4: Emma Bee Bernstein/Susan Bee/Marjorie Perloff; #6: Kate Eichorn/M. NourbeSe Philip/Gail Scott; #7: Cara Benson/Jayne Cortez/Anne Waldman; #8: Jane Sprague/Diane Ward/Tina Darragh. I edited the number left out here.
Despite my discomfort with the name (about which see Eichorn’s analysis in the preface to #6); my year’s most delirious cycle of discoveries, revisitations, reflections on the nature of dialogue, calls for more.
More Jennifer Scappettone here.