A HANDFUL OF THE UNREAD
by Lupi d'Cort
Anmassend Bekehrt constructs hermetic textual distillations; compressed, disjunctive blocks of prose within which a reader detects the faintest traces of a previous literature. He is currently distilling the short prose of Beckett with an eye towards pure lyrical opacity. His theoretical works seem pertinent to a literature which only Bekehrt would imagine writing - and one which even he has yet to write.
"At inscription," he has written, "whereas the text asifsuch, is subject abjected for quadrature and vector" (from THE TEXT ASIFSUCH; unpublished manuscript).
In Bekehrt, the asifsuch (and more specifically, the text asifsuch) is the liminal/imaginal construct of an absent transformationing (Bekehrt's term). The asifsuch occurs as "the abauthorial intervention of an absent and absenting unwritten” x “an historical unwritten" which, paradoxically, is always already and "forever formerly x the present writing unauthoring its presenting author" [see my unpublished monograph, "As If The Asifsuch As Such: Bekehrt At Work And Play"] and, in another context: "at text asifsuch, wherein the textual such such that as if, is subject object thus increasingly abjection" (from THE TEXT ASIFSUCH).
Bekehrt can seem almost impenetrable, particularly in the theoretical areas of his work, but the persistent reader may be rewarded with opacity and silence.
The poetry of Parl Dubit consists of improvisational extractions and transduction. Recent work includes homophonic translations of Lorca. I have remarked elsewhere on his "lyricism as nonsense, a romanticism without mountains" ("Parl Dubit and the Romance of Misreading"; unpublished essay).
Dubit harbors an irrational hatred for surrealism, though this would be difficult to ascertain from a perusal of his texts. He has described himself as "a phonemic alchemist.” He claims to draw most of his poetical inspiration from listening to Theolonious Monk and early Led Zeppelin. Dubit has commented in an interview on "an epistemology of mishearing as the adolescent given of a rock 'n' roll ethos,” and on "the aberrant revisioning of received authority as the sine qua non of Monk's improvisational rehearing of the standards." (Dubit and d'Cort, "Mistalking the Text"; unpublished).
A solitary and surly character, Dubit is a serious student of the western esoteric traditions.
Retorico Unentesi is a rigorously procedural poet. Jasper Johns is his model.
"the Unentesi formula:
1. take a text
2. do something to it
3. do something else to it"
(from "The Incarcerated Text: Property, Theft and Resistance in the Poetry of Retorico Unentesi"; Lupi d'Cort; unpublished manuscript.)
Unentesi is a self-proclaimed revolutionary, an anarchist and (at least theoretically) a pacifist. He would situate his oeuvre in the tradition of political (protest) poetry. As text on the page, however, his is a gentle and lyrical practice. All of the language in Unentesi is appropriated (thus his contention that he has written nothing). The collaged fragments of pilfered lines constellate at the nexus of list and lyric. Unentesi's posturing as a revolutionary poet is ultimately empty, but his aggregates of appropriated lines often exhibit an ear for uncanny accidents of rhythmic assonance.
(From an unpublished interview with Retorico Unentesi:)
d'Cort: "Your work would seem to enact a radically participatory sense of poetical community. Would it be fair to - "
Unentesi: "I participate in nothing! If one wishes to be fair, one must say that I have written nothing. I am a cultural worker. I am a distributor of textual fragments, neither more nor less. Every sense of poetical community is constructed by the dominant culture as a means of controlling poetical response and responsibility. This is why I reside here in Kohoutenberg, at the Institute. Only here can I productively assert that I do nothing and do not exist."
Ruhe Lucentezza refers to himself as a "letteral choreographer.” His most compelling works are compilations and assemblages of found or appropriated texts ("found in silent purity, corrupted in my hands towards useless dialogue" - thus Lucentezza, in conversation with this author) - works which he somewhat misleadingly terms "letter installations and performances for syntax and type.” Recent works include a series entitled "found subjects.” He has a cynical sense of humor, including a tendency to lie about his sources. Lucentezza sometimes writes his first name with an umlaut over one or another of the vowels, "thus," he has commented, "destabilizing the self at the site of its signature.”
In his uncooperative interviews and quasi-critical parodic lectures, he insists that lying about one's relationship to Duchamp and Cage demonstrates an absolute comprehension of their work. [This may be one of those rare moments in which he is at least attempting accuracy.] The work of Lucentezza is a refusal of writing, a denial of communication, ultimately an absolute absence of art itself. [See my unpublished essay, "Refusal of the Work: Task and Anti-Task in the Work of Ruhe Lucentezza”]
The fictions, or fictive distillations, of Ricev Prosa are in many respects similiar to those of Anmassend Bekehrt, though he shares few if any of Bekehrt's theoretical proclivities. He is currently at work extracting the gists and piths from Scott Macleod's “Anne Frank In Jerusalem, arranging them in a prose construction entitled "The White Fragments.”
In the selections I have seen, this text becomes the omniscient narrator of its own disjunctive story. Even a superficial reading reveals this text as a multiple and conflicted entity. Subjected to its own interventions and incessant interruptions, the text is ultimately unable to tell more than the context of its own inscription. That context is the site of writing itself, indifferent to author and reader alike, finally silent before the interpretive gaze. It is, therefore, the antitext, arriving symptomatically here at the edge of the millennium.
Prosa, however, would deny all of this, dismissing it as mere fashionable posturing, self-indulgence masquerading in the jargon of critical theory. Prosa refers to his work as "decorative expressionism" - a designation which would seem to speak for itself (thus no further comment).