January 29, 2007 6:52 PM “Yhä uudestaan ikävyyden ympär'” is the titel I gave to the Finnish version of my essay, “Plurifying the Languages of the Trite” – a piece that, according to Prof. Aurora F. Bernardini, “curiosamente, vêm inicialmente atualizar dois dos mais conhecidos textos ocidentais sobre poesia, o de Heidegger (1916) sobre a essência da poesia e o de Benjamin (1915) sobre dois poemas de Hölderlin” (see prof. Bernardini’s commentary at the Centopeia web site (section Ensaios)).
January 27, 2007 11:22 AM Kenny Goldsmith, as this week’s guest blogger (aka “journalist”) at poetryfoundation.org, has been giving insights on “conceptual writing”, wrapping it up on Friday with a gallery of works, including by Craig Dworkin, Caroline Bergvall, Emma Kay, Darren Wershler-Henry & Bill Kennedy, Robert Fitterman, Fiona Banner, Claude Closky, Christian Bök, Simon Morris, himself, and me (Päivä). Fabulous.
January 20, 2007 2:30 PM “The Task of Poetics, the Fate of Innovation, and the Aesthetics of Criticism”, a lecture by Charles Bernstein (with introduction by Robert von Hallberg) at the University of Chicago, December 1, 2006 (audio; video) from Poetry Present web site. This is the Chicago version of the same lecture Charles gave at the University of Helsinki early last October; unfortunately no recording of that, but I’m working to put online others from his other performances in Finland.
January 20, 2007 10:19 AM “Poetry Blogging In Finland” This is a useful research paper, in English, by Tatu Henttonen, Department of Translation Studies, University of Tampere, Finland.
January 20, 2007 7:44 AM “(…) speech as a kind of permanent introspective and creative monologue, chewing his words as if speaking was a way of seeing for him, who was blind in one eye.” “‘American poetry was renovated, in this century, by a series of non-native speakers of English or by bilingual ones.'”In Sibila English, Régis Bonvicino’s memories of Robert Creeley’s visit to Sao Paulo, 1996.
January 19, 2007 17:31 PM Checking Bill Allegrezza’s blog, I’m reminded of 1) Jukka-Pekka Kervinen’s new magazine, epidermis (the current, Winter 2007, issue featuring work by Jim Leftwich, Kervinen, Dan Waber, Sheila E. Murphy, Peter Ganick, and John M. Bennett – I find Ganick’s graphical “from existence eleven” particularly appealing), 2) the Innovative Audiences Wiki – itself perhaps an innovation in the development of new online audiences for poetry – where I much liked the points Ernesto Priego makes on themes of “Influences“, “American“, and “Insularity“. At his blog, Never Neutral, Priego reports on the gales hitting London yesterday. (Helsinki, true to the old tradition of no-matter-what-it-is Finland-is-always-the-last-to-get-it, luckily for once, stays unaffected).
January 19, 2007 12:17 PM “Sorede anata no hatsukoi wa seikou shitandesuka?” At the International Exchange for Poetic Invention blog, Ton van ‘t Hof has posted a charming essay by Takako Arai on the Japanese, with an emphasis on homonyms and the gendered nature of the language. Fascinating from the point of view of Finnish, a language that does not differentiate between genders even in third person singular – that is, doesn’t, except in my translations from Ashbery and Joyce.
January 19, 2007 10:19 AM “He doesn’t bother with spending the entire day in search of the mot juste, as Ford said of Conrad. He’s got a million of them up his sleeve. You want mot juste? ‘Lookee here'(…)” Patrick Pritchett on Braided River, New and Selected Poems 1965-2005, by Anselm Hollo (Salt Publishing 2005).
January 18, 2007 10:45 AM Based on an SMS message I got, the new issue, 03-04/2006, of Särö, the new literary magazine from South-East of Finland, has been celebrated yesterday evening in Porvoo. It’s a thick bunch of writing, featuring, among others, a new translation into Finnish by Kristian Blomberg of “Un coup de dés” by Mallarmé (the “old” one being Helena Sinervo’s, from as far back as Fall 2006 – it will be interesting to make comparisons, also in view of Sinervo’s attempt to pose “her” Mallarmé as an “alternative” (even “cure”) for much of the best experimental writing in the country just now), new poetry from Russia in translations by Arvi Perttu, work from a number of emerging local poets, poetic commentary by Risto Ahti and Jyrki Pellinen, “Trickster Stories” by J. K. Ihalainen, an essay on “Internet Writing” by Mikael Brygger (who just became a member of the new Tuli&Savu board, together with the new editor-in-chief, Harry Salmenniemi), plus Rita Dahl on Charles Bernstein and his Finnish book in an essay titled “The Inventor of Language”, complete with my translation – form ten years back – of Charles’ poem, “The Throat”, as “Kurkku”. You may check the whole content here, subscribe to Särö here.
January 17, 2007 1:23 PM My poem “Ananke: pantun” in translation into Icelandic by Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl at tregawott.net. And here’s where Eiríkur announces his intention to move to Helsinki in near future (“eftir páska”). We will surely end up doing more in these archaic languages of ours. For all language versions of “Ananke” – Finnish, English, Danish, Swedish, Portuguese, Icelandic – click here.
January 15, 2007 3:31 PM OEI #26 – Audioei, part 1, part 2 being the current, 624 page, #28-29-30 – originally a double CD with recordings of readings by Ida Borjel & Mathias Kristersson, Kenneth Goldsmith, Johannes Helden, UKON & Njurmannen, Vannina Maestri, Leif Holmstrand, Helena Eriksson, Malte Persson, Joachim Montessuis, Christian Bök, Christian Yde Frostholm & Hans Sydow, Beatrice Lindberg, MonoMono, Jorg Piringer, Martin Hogstrom, Mara Lee & the Magic Stranger, Jorgen Gassilewski, Pejk Malinovski, Jacques Sivan, Caroline Bergvall, Mathias Kristersson, me, and Johan Jonson & Henrik Rylander, now online at PennSound.
January 14, 2007 9:58 AM Janne Nummela, the author of Lyhyellä matkalla ohuesti jäätyneen meren yli (an important book of mostly “Google based” poems, one of which, in my translation into English, is up here), has written a long (and winding) review of Runouden puolustus (A Defence of Poetry), a Finnish volume of poems and essays by Charles Bernstein, edited and co-translated by me; in its original Finnish, the review is over there.
January 12, 2007 2:55 PM My “Brazil Essay”, in translation into Portuguese by Odile Cisneros as “Plurificar as linguagens do trivial”, now up here, together with links to the other language versions (Finnish is forthcoming). I also came to update the link list for “Essays (& Speeches)” at my “more stuff” page to reflect some of the interventions ventured during the Fall of 2006.
January 12, 2007 11:35 AM “Unelmattomia” (Ones Without Dreams) is J. P. Sipilä’s new, lyrical video-poem (sound by Samuli Salo, 5:30, requiers Flash Player). Come to check out it, “Fear of Memory” by Eric Gamalinda has some of the same notalgia of transitoriness, this time entirely based on the signage of the New York cityscape (5:05, thanks for hint to Brian Kim Stefans).
January 11, 2007 9:28 PM “I LOVE SPEECH.” Kenneth Goldsmith’s MLA Forum contribution online (as text) at poetryfoundation.org. “I used to be an artist; then I became a poet; then a writer. Now when asked, I simply refer to myself as a word processor.”
January 11, 2007 5:07 PM “Stalinism in Karelia” and other up-to-date topics in translator Arvi Perttu’s blog, Maahanmuuttaja (An Immigrant). For information on him in Russian, see presentation of Арви Пертту.
January 11, 2007 2:43 PM The Roma, Sinti, Calé and other ethnic groups collectively referred to as Gypsies form the largest minority in Europe. Scattered across the globe they live in almost every part of the world, each group marked by a distinct language, culture and situation. Throughout their history, the Roma have been subjected to persecution, expulsions across Europe, slavery in Romania, prohibition on the use of the Romany language, and other creative attempts to misuse, assimilate or extinguish their people. Cia Rinne and Joakim Eskildsen travelled to meet Roma in seven different countries between 2000 and 2006, often staying with families for long periods in order to learn about their life, their culture, and their situation. Based on this work, The Roma Journeys [Le romané phirimàta], to be published by Steidl in English and German, is a 400 page book with photography by Joakim, text by Cia, and foreword by Günter Grass. Note also the accompanying exhibition (photos by Joakim together with soundscapes recorded by Cia and edited by Sebastian Eskildsen), starting at Amos Anderson Art Museum, Helsinki, January 17 to March 11, 2007, after which the exhibition will travel to Stockholm (June to August 2007) and Copenhagen (November 2007 to February 2008).
January 11, 2007 11:06 AM “The intrepid Marko J Niemmi has translated the original Jabber engine from English to Finnish and dubbed it Pekoraalikone, so now you can watch Finnish words appear like magic out of alphabet soup. I am gobsmacked that someone would put as much effort as was required to translate it. yay!” – Neil Hennessy. (For the original Jabberwocky Engine, go here; for more about the background and workings, here.)
January 10, 2007 9:19 AM I just received a copy of Kääntökirja, ed. by Tapani Kilpeläinen, 194 pages, published in the 23°45 series of the niin&näin magazine. It’s an anthology of translations into Finnish of classic and contemporary writings in translation theory – with texts by Friedrich Schleiermacher, Walter Benjamin (“Translator’s Task” in my 1991 translation), Jacques Derrida, Antoine Berman, Jean-René Ladmiral, Ana Agud, Marina Bykova, Alexis Nouss, Henri Meschonnic, and complete with a good bibliography of additional reading. Highly recommened, you may order it here.
January 9, 2007 1:16 PM A number of new blogs on my roll – on various grounds, mostly reciprocity: C. S. Carrier, J. Henry Chunko, the culture mill, De Contrabaas, Jamba Dunn, GAMMM, marco giovenale, Morton Hurley, Andrew Lundwall, miporadio, Martin Johs. Møller, Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Tom Orange, Massimo Orgiazzi, Ernesto Priego, Jill Walker, Amanda Watson, Heriberto Yepez. A promising new Finnish poetry blogger (who claims to be a “protagonist in a novel”) is Herra Nutz. Karri Kokko has started a new blog, Ihmisiä, päiviä, elämää, aiming, each day of the year 2007, to document someone met by him (à la limite himself). It’s in Finnish, except that the images can be in any language, I guess. Yesterday’s entry features me (should I say, “Uncle Me”) and contains an enchipered piece of literary news as well. And my daughter Saara, the mathematician, has started blogging at Doubling Places. Welcome, ye’all.
January 7, 2007 6:33 PM In the aftermath of the Saddam execution: “The problem with today’s America is not that it is a new global empire, but that it is not one. That is, while pretending to be an empire, it continues to act like a nation-state, ruthlessly pursuing its interests.” Slavoj Zizek in an op-ed piece in The New York Times. Via Ron Silliman.
January 7, 2007 3:05 PM “essentially the raw / material in / someone // else’s product / to / put // it / into the / most flagrantly industrial” Making Creeley join Flarf through Google Poetry is just one of the many things Christopher Church does in his fabulous new book of 177 pages, How / about a sperm-a-thon?, available for $10.58 (plus shipping, paper), $2.50 (download) here. A lot of it comes straight from the Generator, but that’s beside the point: you have to see it to see that you have to read it (then read it).
January 3, 2007 3:26 PM “This must have something to do with an imagined community, which is the one I am now joining.” Finnish poet Pauliina Haasjoki has started her English blog, Being and form. Welcome!
January 3, 2007 2:30 PM “The Second Anniversary of the Political Lie – in memoriam Anna Politkovskaya”. The Peter Weiss Foundation, of Berlin, makes an initiative for a worldwide reading on March 20, 2007 – read more here.
January 3, 2007 1:08 PM My trip, together with my wife Kirsi, to NYC (for Christmas and New Year) and to Philadelphia for the MLA [MLA] Convention (in between the holidays), comes close to prompt me to write an unusual personal entry. What can I say? It was so overwhelmingly good to be with old friends (Charles & Susan, Kenny & Cheryl in NYC, Rachel & Bob (we spent a night in their house) in Philly; and, of course, with Marjorie and Joe). It was almost more overwhelming to be able to see so many new faces – albeit briefly: in a hub like this, “fleetingly” seems to be longest applicable time unit for meeting, be it with old or new friends (as Bob Perelman remarked, there should be a verb for saying hello to a friend once a year in escalators…) Some of the most delightful first time pumpings-into I had where with Craig Dworkin, Steve McCaffery, Monica de la Torre (actually that was for the second time; at Kenny’s New Year Party, she encouraged me to “sell” the Google Poem Generator to The Company, to be used as an additinal search option: “Links”, “Images” (…) “Poems”; hmmmm… I wonder what Dan Hoy would have to say of me then…), Brian Kim Stefans (to whom I really managed only to say “hello”, but then that twice) and Richard Selburn (keep your eye on the EPC Scandinavian Portal for a re-publication of his translations from Haavikko, into English from German, originally in a New Directions Yearbook or something some 25 years back), not to speak of the other co-workshoppist in “Poetic Sound in Translation”: Antonio Sergio Bessa, Gordana P. Crnković, Yunte Huang, and Rosmarie Waldrop. As for the conference in general, as a first-timer / oursider, just taking in the atmosphere may have swallowed most of my energies. Some of it I felt to be a bit “academic” in the “empty” sense of the word: at one point, I felt split between going to, either a panel on “Reading Code” (with John Cayley), or the one on “Sounding the Romanticists” (with Garrett Stewart): together with Caroline Bergvall, I ended up with listening to a bit of both – and sensing some of that emptiness in each one. On the other hand, it was impossible not to be aware of the “table-turning” effect of the whole (see Ron Silliman’s and Barrett Watten’s accounts). I didn’t come to hear Marjorie’s Presidential Address that’s already sparking some discussion (see Watten’s account for some typical reservations I’ve heard others voicing as well): as for me, I’ve always seen the Cultural Studies approach to be reactionary (pseudo-progressive), and the thrust of my own recent interventions – see my “Brazil essay“, and of course the contribution to my workshop at MLA – has been in searching for an alternative way to account for, exactly, the questions of culture, race, etc. (again see Watten’s entry): one where, by not taking “culture” etc. as givens, we’d be able to open new perspectives for a social relevancy of poetry. As to my workshop contribution, I wasn’t supprised for Christian Bök to be one of those who privately were most enthusiastic about it (I especially liked Christian’s poignantly sharp realization that where I perhaps could develop to be “almost” a “native” English writer, there’s no way for him to learn “English as a Second Language”!). For more blogger coverage on the MLA, see the reports by C. S. Carrier and Amanda Watson. The recording of the giant off-site reading on Dec. 29 is still available at miporadio (I’m somewhere in the middle of the track 2).
January 3, 2007 9:08 PM Finnish time OEI POETRY AREA: EXTENSION 1 will be an evening with Caroline Bergvall (England), Vannina Maestri (France), and Jacques Sivan (France): Thursday, Jan. 11, 7-10 PM at Ugglan, Närkesgatan 6 (at Nytorget), Stockholm.