Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century by Marjorie Perloff
In "Non-Authentic Genius" Marjorie Perlov explores a new development in contemporary poetry: rephrasing the words of others in order to create new works, by drafting, quoting, and recycling phrases and…
Unoriginal Genius synopsis
In "Non-Authentic Genius" Marjorie Perlov explores a new development in contemporary poetry: rephrasing the words of others in order to create new works, by drafting, quoting, and recycling phrases and sentences and even existing ones. Paradoxically, she says, this "non-original" hair is more accessible, logically, "personal" than hairstyles in the 1980s and 1990s.
Perlov traces this poet of "non-authentic genius" from one of his exemplary works, Walter Benjamin's Encyclopedic Project, a book made up largely of citations. It discusses the selection, framing and restructuring processes of the Brazilian and Ulebo works, which are now understood as precursors of such hybrid ceremonial texts as the opera "Shadowtime" and Susan Howe's "The Midnight" documentary.
"Non-Native Genius" concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmith's conceptual "movement" - a "pure" version that looks "pure" from weekend traffic reports. In these and many other cases, Perlov reveals "poetry by other means" of creativity, intelligence and complexity..
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