By Joan Retallack
In those hugely artistic essays, Joan Retallack, acclaimed poet and essayist, conveys her precise post-utopian imaginative and prescient as she explores the connection among artwork and lifestyles in state-of-the-art chaotic global. within the culture of the essay as advanced humanist exploration, she engages rules from throughout historical past: Aristotle's definition of happiness, Epicurus's swerve into unpredictable risk, Montaigne's essays as an device of self-invention, John Cage's redefinition of Silence. inside her unifying rubric of poethics, Retallack offers the reader lots of surprises with an excellent diversity of examples, occasions, and texts in which she conducts her exploration. a working laptop or computer glitch, a passage from Gertrude Stein's favourite detective novelist, the belief of the experimental female, a John Cage performance--all function events for inquiry and hypothesis with a view to her poethics of a "complex realism."
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Extra resources for The Poethical Wager
Blaise Pascal, Pensées inserting an h in poetics: a slef interview This interview between old friends (only sometimes at odds), Joan Retallack and Quinta Slef, took place in a short-circuited corner of cyberspace on a rainy Domingo/Domenica/Sunday/Sonntag/Dimanche. . quinta slef: How shall we begin? ” You’ve been talking and writing about “poethics” for quite a while, but, before we get into that, why “wager”? What’s that about? joan retallack: When you make a wager you stake something that matters on an uncertain outcome.
It was a horrendous collision of elements—some with a contemporary contingency that had very little to do with long-standing cultural traditions, some that had a lot to do with them, for example, with pedagogical traditions of compliance as well as the things I mentioned earlier. No, I’m not as certain as I sound. It’s something I, like many others, continually puzzle over because it’s a paradigmatic conundrum of relations between culture and terror. qs: But how do you use thoughts like these in relation to contemporary thought and art without beginning to think of moralistic opprobrium—thou shall not write fairy tales!
11 But before you can begin to attempt this you must face the fact that your present project is insufﬁcient, that it has not moved toward the unintelligibilities of the developing contemporary. You see this kind of change in the work of some poets and not others. qs: There’s a widespread feeling that unintelligibility has no place in poetry, that it makes the work inaccessible in flagrant avant-disregard for its audience. ” It’s a good joke because it accurately reﬂects a common opinion. But it’s not true.
The Poethical Wager by Joan Retallack