June 22, 2004

Today "No More Play" and "The Originality of the Avant-Garde," two classic essays by Rosalind Krauss. Interesting to revisit the "The Originality..." many years later and for sure no longer convinced of the orginality of the avant garde. Seems a more mundane, almost cute essay. It annoyed me in graduate school. I felt it was missing the point. That the use of a grid over and over does not mean the avant garde is not original. Now I feel the avant garde is not original, but not sure the repeated use of a grid is the best example that proves it. "No More Play" useful for a little more depth on the primitivism issue than most of the writing on this issue.

Also, Walter Ong's Orality and Literacy the last two days. Another classic that I have never read. Makes me realize I need to read more sprawling histories of poetry. I am not that good on the longer view.

Read around in Serpents In The Garden: Liaisons With Culture & Sex, edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. Funny essay by Bruce Jackson on how audio tapes prove that the audience was not booing Dylan when he played electric that first time. Also funny essay by Cockburn on Angelina Jolie and the French Revolution. Charles brought this book home from AK. I keep trying to get him to buy me a copy of the Derrida video but he keeps refusing to do it saying it will be boring. I also keep asking for a copy of Ethical Sluts, in my continued attempt to read around in the literature of u.s. polygamy.

Spent $75 on photocopies at the Bancroft today. Selections from the journal Transition. While I was there I also quickly read through a first edition of The Path on the Rainbow: The Book of Indian Poems, ed George Cronyn from 1918. Was hoping to find a quote I could use. But instead took some notes for this poem on streams that I'm working on. And skimmed Wilson Harris's Tradition, The Writer, and Society hoping to find something on art and political education for this possible anthology. But it didn't seem that useful and it also seemed that all the essays in this book appear in a collection of his essays that I have in my office.

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