I did a couple of class sessions at the end of the (now blessedly concluded) semester on K. Silem Mohammad's work, and Flarf more generally; it dawned on me (duh) that the way to understand much of Flarf is as Deliberate Kitsch. So, yes, it is the poetic equivalent of Jeff Koons (my answer to the quiz, btw, was "all of the above"). Or maybe Kasey should trademark the epithet "Poet of Light." I don't know.
But I went to the OED for help explaining kitsch to my students. "To affect with sentimentality and vulgarity" - good. Then a bit from the Observer, 1958: "What is so extraordinary about some of these kitsch masterpieces is the way they can be enjoyed on two planes, both as themselves and as their own parodies." Uh-hhhhhhh.
Or this, from This Magazine (which magazine? . . . never heard of it), 1994: "She's playing with a look that is so out it's in, revelling in the kitschiness of the way some people, other people, dress. This isn't a case of fashion nostalgia. This is fashion slumming."
Kevin Varrone's BOX SCORE: An Autobiography of Zeroes - [I'll be delivering this talk in Ottawa, Kansas on Friday. In the meantime, I highly recommend Kevin's book; I've read it a dozen times now, and it has rew...
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