Friday, March 26, 2010

Someone Stole my Kenny Goldsmith poster

Which is probably a logical theft. If one can call it a theft. After all, the poster was on my door. The door, in a sense, is public property. It is facing out, into the corridor, and the corridor is a passing through. Granted it is still "my" door, so far as I am contracted to be at the university, and so far as I am granted the right to inhabit said office. All very transitory, all based on any number of factors not in my control. There is perhaps a connection to the asking of questions and the uneasiness of position. One has a position. One takes a position. One attempts to describe a moment, a block of text, a corridor in an English Department...

Kenny's reading at Concordia was certainly a highlight of the year. The questions asked, the assumptions overturned, or unearthed, or upended, each less stable than the one before. And yet, one quakes with concern. One says, how can we fix this conceptual writing? How can we assess it? What evaluative models can we corset? Isn't there a particular scientific, algebraic, formulaic scaffolding we can erect to assess?

What makes for good, stealable, conceptual writing? This fall I'll be conducting two classes in conceptual writing, one graduate, one undergraduate. I'm hoping we find some answers. Or, I'm hoping we have some intriguing questions.

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