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TSE  November 2006

TSE November 2006

Subject:

Re: Eliot Parody

From:

Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Mon, 13 Nov 2006 12:20:39 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (112 lines)

Diana,

  Is this for real? If so, it is pitch perfect self parody, so bad it could 
not be rendered any more comical:

"Bachinsky should be lauded for raising big questions. We should also 
applaud her sheer moxie - who among us would have the courage to translate 
'The Wasteland?'"

  Someone quite that whinnying horse. Defamilarization, anyone?

Ken A.

At 08:59 AM 11/13/2006, you wrote:
>Dear listers: any thoughts you have on the following will be most 
>appreciated. I am so apoplectic about this reviewer's inane comments on 
>Eliot I cannot think. I am reviewing Bachinsky for The Modern Review. Note 
>where Lynes says Bachinsky's riff on TWL puts her in the company of Eliot 
>himself. Give me strength! Diana Manister
>
>
>
>The Fine Art of Collage or; T.S. Eliot Hits the Mosh Pit: Curio: 
>Grotesques and Satires from the Electronic Age by Elizabeth Bachinsky
>
>
>
><http://fieldstonereview.usask.ca/people.php#14>Jeanette Lynes
>
>Curio: Grotesques and Satires from the Electronic Age. Elizabeth 
>Bachinsky. Toronto: BookThug, 2005. ISBN 0 9737181 8 8. 111 pp. Pbk.
>
>Published under Jay MillAr's very cool BookThug imprint, Elizabeth 
>Bachinsky's Curio is an energized, endlessly inventive, often brilliant 
>collection - a memorable collage of shifting poetic stances and rhetorical 
>tropes.
>
>Curio seems strongly invested in a critique of language and literary 
>tradition. The range of diction in these poems is wild, the diversity of 
>influence deliciously idiosyncratic. How often have we seen John Milton 
>and Lisa Robertson acknowledged between the same covers? Bachinsky's 
>willingness to range fearlessly through history sets her writing apart - 
>or, at least places it in the company of equally daring poets like 
>Robertson, Maine's Jennifer Moxley, and Eliot himself. Bachinsky's poems 
>also remind me, at times, of work by American writer Karen Volkman. 
>Bachinsky forages through the past, defamiliarizing contemporary poetic 
>language in poems like "She is Blond Sin." I love the linguistic cognitive 
>dissonance and sly eroticism created here when words like "dandy kid" 
>(evocative of the nineteen forties Jimmy Stewart movies) and "wanton 
>hidden clit" (a morphing of archaic and contemporary diction) bump up 
>against each other and share poetic proximity. Curio is an exciting 
>linguistic mosh pit of language derived from the past five hundred years.
>
>Bachinsky's "Lead the Wants" is a tour de force, a madcap 'translation' of 
>Eliot's "The Wasteland," one of the great collage poems in western 
>literature. Bachinsky's poem, with its inclusion of K-Mart and R.E.M. 
>seems, in a way, the logical conclusion of "The Wasteland." To cite two 
>examples from Bachinsky:
>
>O O O O shat takes pear he tang hi -
>
>Or:
>
>Witt witt witt
>Guj guj guj guj guj guj
>Record duos fly
>Re: e, tu
>
>I have to admit, it took me awhile to discover Eliot's "O O O O that 
>Shakespeherian Rag" from Bachinsky's "O O O O shat takes pear he rang hi" 
>(and even longer to track down Eliot's Shakespeherian riff to Ziegfeld's 
>Follies of 1912). But echoes emerge; we begin to hear the past. Same with 
>Eliot's transplanted classical bird calls - "Twit twit twit/Jug jug jug 
>jug jug jug," transplanted still further by Bachinsky as "Witt witt 
>witt/Guj gujā€¦." etc. Language is historicized, contextual. T. S. Eliot's 
>"Wasteland," which sounded so strange to most of us who first studied it 
>as undergraduates, comes to appear normalized, in time. Is this - ending 
>up in a kind of linguistic suburbs - the fate of all poetic language? 
>Hopefully not since, as Pound said, the poet's job is to 'make it new'. As 
>part of her procedure for making it new, Bachinsky's driving questions 
>seem to be: what can the status of poetic language be in the age of 
>K-Mart, R.E.M., and the electronic revolution? Can the poet create 
>anything more than a collage? What happened to Keats' well-wrought urn (or 
>was that only ever a dream?). Will the Tower of Babel tip once and for all 
>in the electronic age? Is the poetic past destined to be relegated to the 
>status of mere Curio? Will the electronic revolution democratize language, 
>or destroy it? Bachinsky is, I think, more interested in the process of 
>exploring these questions than answering them - and, since she's a poet, I 
>think this is as it should be.
>
>Bachinsky should be lauded for raising big questions. We should also 
>applaud her sheer moxie - who among us would have the courage to translate 
>"The Wasteland?" For poets of my (slightly older) generation, Eliot's poem 
>remains too canonically enshrined to touch. I don't think Bachinsky's 
>conversation with Eliot in Curio shows disrespect; if anything, it bodes 
>well for the future, bespeaks a revitalized dialogue, suggesting as it 
>does that Canada's new poets are willing to venture where some of us more 
>tyrannized by canonicity (and a residual colonialism? We just assumed 
>Eliot was British, he seemed British!) dared not go. Great to see our new 
>wave of poets decolonize their imaginations. Elizabeth's Bachinsky's 
>'conversations' with literary tradition, an integral part of Curio, are 
>lots of fun. Her willingness to engage in them carries forward the energy 
>of some of Canada's most interesting poetry; George Bowering has had some 
>pretty nifty conversations with Keats and Rilke, to cite only one example. 
>Elizabeth Bachinsky is one of our new bright lights. Next year, I'm going 
>to assign my college students "The Wasteland" by Eliot and "Lead the 
>Wants" by Bachinsky. I can't wait already.
>
>
>----------
><http://g.msn.com/8HMAENUS/2749??PS=47575>Use your PC to make calls at 
>very low rates

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