Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

art is autonomous

Attention Span 2011 | Tim Conley

leave a comment »

Roland Barthes, trans. Kate Briggs | The Preparation of the Novel | Columbia | 2011

Not a guide to writing a novel, but rather an extended, meticulous meditation (these are Barthes’s teaching notes) on getting ready to write a novel—and if that sounds more than a little Proustian, it is, it is!

Robert Duncan| The H.D. Book| California | 2011

“The crux for the poet is to make real what is only real in a heightened sense.” Duncan making it real. It’s about time this came into print (handsomely so and well-edited)… now if only Lisa Jarnot’s biography would likewise materialize.

Adrian Johns | Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age | Norton | 2010

A. David Moody | Ezra Pound: Poet: A Portrait of the Man and His Work, Volume 1: The Young Genius 1885-1920 | Oxford | 2007

George Oppen | New Collected Poems | New Directions | 2008

I have come late to Oppen and am staggered, staggering through him. “No ideas but in things” has been translated, transmuted into the not dissimilar but no less vibrant “no narrative but ourselves.” The world slows with this reading.

Álvaro Mutis, trans. Edith Grossman| The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll | NYRB Classics | 2002

Frances Stonor Saunders | The Woman Who Shot Mussolini | Metropolitan | 2010

Is it the (indelible) mark of insanity to attempt the assassination of Il Duce (who had such a knack for surviving many such attempts)? Besides unfolding a fascinating history, Saunders casts a powerful light on the disturbingly habitual institutionalization of differently-minded modern women.

Aram Saroyan | Complete Minimal Poems | Ugly Duckling | 2007

To my mind, the missing link between Louis Zukofsky and bpNichol. “Poem Recognizing Someone In The Street” has become one of my mental tattoos.


Tim Conley is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Brock University in Canada. His most recent books are Nothing Could Be Further (2011), a collection of short fiction, and the anthology Burning City: Poems of Metropolitan Modernity (co-edited with Jed Rasula, forthcoming in 2012).

Conley’s Attention Span for 201020092008. Back to 2011 directory.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: