VVP: Art 434 & Engl. 410

Website for Vision Voice and Practice: An Interdisciplinary Course in Art and Creative Writing

Friday, March 29, 2013

New technology, old form

This week we read Marjorie Perloff's essay "Toward a Conceptual Lyric" and, as a companion piece, this interview with Kenneth Goldsmith. At one point in the interview, Goldsmith says,
Words are no longer just for telling stories. Now language is digital and physical. It can be poured into any conceivable container: text typed into a Microsoft Word document can be parsed into a database, visually morphed in Photoshop, animated in Flash, pumped into online text-mangling engines, spammed to thousands of email addresses and imported into a sound editing program and spit out as music; the possibilities are endless. 
Clearly this is a far cry from the Romantic notion of a writer hammering out original works of genius on a typewriter in a garret. Yet much writing proceeds like the internet never happened. Look at most literary fiction: you get guys like Will Self saying things like, "The internet is of no relevance at all to the business of writing fiction directly, which is about expressing certain kinds of verities that are only found through observation and introspection." Really? That's scary.
The following Twitter account has been around for a while, but I was reminded of it as we read and talked about Perloff's and Goldsmith's ideas: Pentametron!

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