Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)

  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
  • DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
  • CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
  • KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

En Ponge

I've been looking for blog lit - or for pre-blog lit that might suggest models for blog lit (esp. w/Jen Humphrey's Up From the Ground in mind). There's serialized novels. And syndicated newspaper poetry. There's diaristic books, like WC Williams' Descent of Winter - which also meanders in an unmanaged way, which blog entries do tend to do.

I also thought of Francis Ponge, and his mini-essays in The Voice of Things (Parti Pris des Choses). For instance, here's an excerpt from "Flora and Fauna":

The time of plants: they always seem fixed, immobile. One ignores them for a few days, a week, and their pose is all the sharper, their limbs have multiplied. Their identity raises no doubts, yet their form goes on elaborating itself.

* * *

The time of plants is conditioned by their space, the space they gradually occupy filling in a canvas doubtless determined forevermore. Once finished, weariness overtakes them, and it is the drama of a certain season.
Like the development of crystals: a will to formation, and the impossibility of forming any other way.

* * *

Their poses or "tableaux vivants": mute entreaties, supplications, unshakable calm, triumphs.

* * *

None of their gestures has any effect outside themselves.

* * *

A body of the most excessively complex laws (pure chance, in other words) presides over the birth and distribution of plants across the globe.
The law of undetermined determinants.

(trans. Beth Archer)

I'm skipping around here, but these are complete sections, separated by (centered) asterisks in the original. Whatever one thinks of the content, the form does, I think, open possibilities for blog lit, esp. for authors who are heavily invested in (shackled by?) the form of the traditional essay - a form which does not, in my view, lend itself to the Blog Form. And there's even pieces on goats. And manure.

(the fact that Ponge could write this stuff while the Nazis occupied his country raises some other interesting questions, which I won't attempt to address - not in a blog post)