Class Notes 11/17

  • The Fourth Wave by Erika T. Wurth
    • “Identity, nature vs. modernity, authenticity, reservation vs. non-reservation culture, sovereignty/land issues, racism/internalized racism, cultural/tradition recovery, history, and language are core issues.” (2)
    • Audience
    • Who gets to codify the culture; white poets “translating” and re-writing, “…the concept of Native Americans for the larger culture was, and is still in many ways, formulated by Non-Natives in such a way as to deny even the very existence of Native Americans in the 20th Century.” (5)
      • Compression of difference like in the formulation of Asian-American, Latinx-American, African-American, etc.
    • 4th Wave / experimental: “allowed to write without the traditional burdens of Native American literary politics.” (6)
      • “experimental poetry allowed a disruption of all the politics of the past.” (11)
    • “If one is to produce art in any public sense, one will never escape this dynamic, especially if one is part of a minority group in any way, because the industry of art is one that is, in the majority, white, male, and straight.” (12)
    • Experimental / Confessional as “form[s] arising from White Academia”? (13)
      • …buries the identity markers as deeply as it can, so that those who would tear our work apart so as to make cohesive, solipsistic, academic, reductive, content-driven arguments will find themselves without hte traditional markers that academia has become so comfortable with when it comes to writing by Native Americans.” (14)
  • Corpse Whale by dg nanouk okpik
    • “She / I” – subjectivity
      • stereoscopicly operative (33)
      • “At times I found this double pronoun-form frustrating: how to read it? I stumbled over its typography, all those backlashes sticking up, and my internal ear stuttered as it tried to pronounce the simultaneous verb forms. Sometimes I tried to avoid it entirely by reading each poem aloud twice, once with only the first person pronouns, once with only the third. Yet I hesitated to write off her method because I suspected my discomfort may also have arisen from a resistance to the stereoscopic perspective itself, that is to say, I found the simultaneity of first-and-third- person experience in this book surprisingly unsettling, and suspected that this was a good thing – a indication of a gap in my own vocabulary. I am still not quite sure I have made friends with okpik’s technique for expressing this perspective (because of how the backslashes disrupt the reading), but I am glad nonetheless to have had to grapple with it.” (Review by Sally McCallum on Volta)
    • multi-lingual & definitions
    • “Moon of the Returning Sun” comparison p. 19
      • indents / aporias / horizontal space
      • audience and quotation
    • “Little Brother and Serpent Samna” no articles p. 51
    • “When Frog Songs Change”
      • references: TRON; carbon footprint, cyberspace
    • “Under Erasure” p. 58
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About Erica Mena

Erica Mena is a poet, translator, and book artist.
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