Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Looking for the Outside

Maggie, as we speak, the line drawn between Modernism and Post-Modernism is being fiercely contested, with hundreds of academic careers hanging in the balance. I had the same thought you did, not when I read Paterson but when I saw Duchamp's Green Box (in book form) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art: What was new about Langpo if Duchamp (and other Dadaists) pioneered these techniques decades earlier? And the Cobain attitude -- the Dadaists were there first too. I could never even understand what was so innovative about Berrigan's Sonnets. It seemed like everything great about Modernism had been done by 1959, and the rest was filigree. I think it was Brian Kim Stefans who reminded me that the sarcasm in, say, Kevin Davies' work was taken right from Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley and Eliot's Sweeney. And then one is challenged to read more scholarship, to stay on top of the latest debates, to be intellectually social....

Having just sped through MoMA in under an hour last week (a form pioneered by three characters in Godard film who clearly still hold the championship title), I find myself in the role of pilgrim at the same old masterpieces: Starry Night! Ma Jolie! Bird in Space! Suprematist Composition: White on White! Anything Warhol and after looks like a toy. And then one is challenged to read more scholarship, to stay on top of the latest debates, to be intellectually social....

2 comments:

Emma Bee said...

>a form pioneered by three characters in a Godard film who clearly still hold the championship title

i'm afraid three characters in a recent Bertolucci film have challenged and presently hold said title --now a shared Franco-American record...

rozydesouza said...

great ..thanks for sharing.....


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Rozydesouza
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