Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Yesterday at Powell's
Yesterday at Powell's I was determined to buy either, Berrigan's collected softcover, or Blaser's The Fire colleced essays. Instead I found Also, With My throat, I Shall Swallow Ten Thousand Swords: Araki Yasusada's Letters In English. COMBO Books, 2oo5. And so while I know I'm a little late on reading this one, having not yet read Doubled Flowering: From the Notebooks of Araki Yasusada either, I do know some of the history of controversy, authorship etc. Regardless of all that, I rarely devour a book this ravenously. From the outset as a controversial project that troubles many normative assumptions related to authorship/translation/ethics I must put it in a category of Rogue Translations that are for me most important to modern poetics. In this perspective I see the work of Zukofsky, Berrigan, Cage, Howe, Bhanu Kapil, Brandon Brown, Michael Koshkin, Rosemary and Keith Waldrop, (please leave comments as to whom else I need to be reading!!!???). And now I must include Kent Johnson into this realm. What is most powerful to me in all of these writers is the gesture of moving away from a monologic perspective on poetics and knowledge, and doing this at the outset, through Rogue translation (to be defined more thoroughly in the future), removes specific authorship (and its presumed legitimacy to some) and places it in relationships. And these relationships exist between eras, individuals, modes of thinking, fluidly, they force encounters with others, past and present, in order to create a knowledge or a poetry of relation, always only made relevant through the participation of a reader. Anyways, the point of this ramble is that it is an astounding read, only compounded by its controversial genesis.