Research. The collection of "research" published here--criticism, essays, position papers, oldies-but-goodies, etc.--is presented in the hopes of flushing out an interlocutive community with whom we can split scholastic hairs, and of intervening more generally in the terms with which contemporary poets and critics discuss their work. We envision this space as occupying a position somewhere between a blog and a journal, and seek pieces of general literary-critical interest as well as pieces on specialist topics that nevertheless open usefully onto broader concerns. Our own essayistic forays represent a tentative and evolving attempt to map some of the coordinates by which we orient our own theoretical and editorial positions.
"The Art of the Concept," Nathan Brown (2013).
Is philosophy the only medium that can host the concept? In the case of the Eternal Return, the brain proves too fragile a medium to sustain it, and the language of philosophy proves an inadequate medium for its transmission. The doctrine of the Eternal Return could not be transcribed, in philosophy; it could only be related as a kind of history, histoire, a story, told by Klossowski. The conceptual doctrine gives way to narration, philosophical commentary in the mode of detective fiction, or perhaps that of a cautionary fairy tale called Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. [Read in full]
"Studying Literature Today," Simon During (2016).
Anglophone literary studies between about 1920 and 1970 are to be understood, I think, as one of the twentieth century’s most significant and original intellectual accomplishments . . . and yet this formation now belongs mainly to intellectual or perhaps literary history. [Read in full]
"Tradition and the Contemporary," Golias (2017).
So what might good tradition mean, and how would such a thing hail us? What would we do with it? We say that we approach past works in a renovative spirit, according to our best lights. To renovate: to retain, to remember, while making new again, re-newing; to seek what is valuable but has been occluded, lost, or defeated; to rehabilitate what was undertaken in a misguided spirit; to be guided by our limited and idiosyncratic needs and values, and yet to be taken beyond ourselves by what is not us. [Read in full]
"Holly Melgard Reads Holly Melgard," Holly Melgard (2015).
. . . the taboo, the hated and shunned; self-defeating narratives and the failures of self-reflexive regard; radical narcissism, feedback loops, inner monologues and, confession; all those embarrassing bitches like the tween, the shrill, and the shrew; all their labor that gets de-documented and unpaid like childbirth, motherhood and administrative duties; all the shit that’s difficult to fathom about them like reading them without writing over them, making poetry without money, and hearing silence prior to translating it into sound. . . [Read in full]
All works printed with permission of the author. Further copyright or citation information accompanies each piece.