Christine Froula On Modernist Revolution & Contemporary Returns

Christine Froula On Modernist Revolution & Contemporary Returns


I thank you so much all of you for being here tonight it is an unpronounceable title and of course I’m make it new the marketing slogan watched by translation Manto that was sent on the back top of the first shang dynasty cage some for millennia ago as many scholars have noted recently North strangely phrase it’s really old historical artifact dense with all the ideas about the new pound will begin his long study of Chinese certain character and chinese literature around 1913 on the end code about bathtub into ancient Chinese text he was studying alongside French in English translations ahi o or great learning a compendium of Confucian moral philosophy and the 12th century free I can’t but murder this time John condensed version the 294 volume comprehensive mirror governance now that was working as I said with translators and this is a page from the french translation by mg PO ta and you can see that he translates the motto it’s it’s you can see my butt to this here it’s well muah complex small fracture favor so how was working with that as well as the characters which he really wasn’t fluent in reading and also with english translation and so I’ll translates cookies French they just showed you renew myself daily surely make it new again you make it also cites James legis english translation who’s more hesitant version in the life and teachings of Confucius lens the phrase of biblical Armagh you can see on the bay being totally hung the following words were in great if you could one day renovate yourself do so from day to day yeah let there be daily and this simple to the announcement to communist it to stir up the new people that’s why it always this is in the context of good governance and the original confusion text so pound renders the phrase first and pithy America quote renovate god gasps you renovate and then in a moment in the more formal and impersonal familiar make it new day by day make it knew that he was second chapter is headed on the necessity of doing and lightning the people imperative to make it new is this the key to good governance the sovereign is to be new himself or herself day-by-day so as to renew and so the slogan make it new is itself as Michael North says quote a product of historical recycling that captures the complex nature of the new its debt even as revolution to the past and of course the word revolution re turning back revolving so so the word revolution has that turning back gesture in its etymology later extracted by historians and critics from its Chinese context and simplified into a touchstone for the 20th century modernist revolution in the arts make it new inscribes the past indelibly still in the it who’s perpetual making new it sorts as the modern slogan immersions emerges from its confusion source through European and American translators into a rapidly shrinking 20th century world roiling with technological change and social and political contestation it gestures to the question of the public work that art and literature perform in inspiring the collective labour of renewing enlightening the people ourselves and the world as the Chinese and many other ancient sources tell us then there’s nothing new nothing modern about making it new rather making it new is the constitutive dynamic of literary history Virgil retails homers matter of the Trojan War from the Trojan perspective and Dante makes his revered Virgil his classical guide through the net nether regions of a Christian cosmos so to the artists we call modernist engage past masterworks to give voice to their early 20th century present TS Eliot argued that the historical sense isn’t necessary to the making of really new art in any period he gave it a local habitation and a name when he hailed Joyce’s creation of Ulysses in parallel with Homer’s Odyssey as quote the mythical method akin to a scientific discovery which other artists including himself could adapt to give aesthetic form to and this is Elliot’s description to the immense panorama of futility and anarchie that is contemporary history that’s what he said Joyce did scientific discovery take the odyssey build Ulysses about the the infinite a life of one day in dublin uh put it hang it on that on that classical scaffolding didn’t so method other artists could use now pounds homage to sexist proportions does that it recast the ironically anti-imperial anti-war Roman love poet as an urbane critic of war and empire in the Imperial Britain of world war one and the wasteland of course takes the European fertility ritual of the Grail quest as its touchstone pounds Kantos stage an epic dialogue among Homer Virgil Dante confucius and many other voices and virginia woolf rewrites the Genesis myth as a new story of the world in her book the waves so what Elliot called the mythical methods arising from a hard-earned it takes a lot of Labor he said historical sense and tantamount to a scientific discovery north and other critics sometimes characterized as historical recycling is simulating the ethos of contemporary art within a conscientious ecology and face of over-consumption heedless waste and earth to spoiling garbage carried to its logical extreme this poetics of recycling reusing previous art instead presumably of bulldozing it into landfills brings to mind a recent remarkable living artists on mentoring young artists in New York quote someone has to teach them to stop making things this is as if the world were already so replete with art it could hold anymore and and the days of making it new are over yet pound a century ago saw in the character seen new a pictorial gesture toward the natural creative force of organic growth renew like a tree shoot thus in that earlier slide the ideograms Chinese ideograms son renew son son renew and then pound comes to that that second renew and thinks like a tree shoot he’s looking at the at the shape the visual shape of the ideogram and just riffing on it again son renew so pound likens the drive to make the self in the world new day by day sun sun sun to the force that through the green fuse drives the flower in Dellin Thomas’s phrase perhaps when it comes to art making this natural creative force absorbs both the historical sense and the poetics of recycling into its purpose of making it new a century after pound encounter Chinese thought the great flowering of art in the earliest 20th sorry the great flowering of art in the earlier early 20th century itself occupies an expansive foreground in contemporary artists historical consciousness no one seems to have taught artist to stop making things as for recycling masterworks that would otherwise be tossed in the dustbin with civilizations other dead cats to paraphrase Conrad’s Charlie Marlo it is new works of art that keep them alive not as unchanging relics or sacred tags but as vital force voices in the still-living dialogue that is literary history i turn now to four works by 21st century artists who make modernist works new the French conceptual artist Pierre bharali Oh brings produced two new life American Kayla Walker channels stephen dedalus is gifted and impoverished sister dilly as a 21st century teenager immersed in social media British multimedia artist Bob Wilson rearranges the 38,000 odd words of Virginia Woolf a Room of One’s Own into a novella that writes racial consciousness into Wolf’s literary history and Algerian caramel delude counters can use the outsider with the untold story of the murdered Arab in the mirror so investigation for its protagonist narrator her own challenges Marceau’s amusement cells account of his crime as he memorializes his dead brother all these works make modernism’s legacy new like a tree shoot in ways quite different from the late 20th century culture of the copy that is epitomized and sherry Levine’s after walker evans series these 24 authorities 21st century artworks aren’t adequately described and think as copies remixes mashups or salvage operations or even as appropriations or imitations fetishizing or literal rather their creators themselves arduous heirs of modernism’s historical sense and through creative dialogue make art for our present-day even as they write themselves and their modernist precursors into an organic live tradition if the dialectical unfolding of literal literary and cultural tradition is nothing new there works our new unanticipated and very much now as virginia woolf compares her imaginary writer mary carmichael to quote a plant newly stood in the air feasting on every sight and sound to depict things that seem small but aren’t things Shakespeare left out these artists tap that radical newness that Rama faiz from ancient China through modernism into yet another new century so here’s the first example in a small corner gallery in the museum of fine arts in tour France hang Dutch Golden Age paintings flight into egypt one subscribed to Rembrandt faces a virgin and child by Rubens there are a yawn van Gogh and seascape a still life by yours and so on an interior of delts old church flower paintings landscapes portraits drawn into the intimate space of gallery 114 a visitor is subliminally aware of an unprepossessing shape of vaguely utilitarian aspect some fire alarm or electrical box or written up aperture just there on the left wall so she turns right word circling around the earth well rammed earth well Rembrandt the Rubens the exquisite seascape the ravishing still lifes the portrait at last she arrives again at that yellow thing on closer look a small rectangle of ceramic trompe l’oeil bricks with grey Street mortar under thick gritty glazes as if dirty and time-worn with a placard not a fire alarm or fuse box then an artwork but category area error maybe the placard gives the artist peterborough Leo the day 2001 to and the title empathy panting meerschaum or a little section of yellow wall from priests in search of lost time the last words of proofs character the writer brick wat who dies while gazing on Ramirez view of Delft at an exhibition of Dutch masters at the judah poem in Paris the titles Prust illusion suddenly sets burrows homely ceramic vibrating in sync with one of the novel’s most famous scenes the agent bedridden bear got reads an art critic on Ramirez view of Delta two notes a detail but God doesn’t recall in this painting he holds in the highest esteem a little section of yellow wall so am quoting produced in English so well painted that it was if one looked at it by itself like some precious specimen of Chinese art of a beauty sufficient in itself so the ailing got rouse himself and staggers out to see the painting this critic mentioned something he doesn’t remember contemplating this tiny section of yellow wall he feels it a rebuke to his craft that’s how I ought to have written thinks its character bear got my last books are too dry I ought to have gone over them with a few layers of color made my language precious in itself like this little section of yellow wall balancing the whole of his life and work against the small section of yellow wall so beautifully painted in yellow quote-unquote murmuring little section of young a wall with the sloping roof and fully intending to live there got falls yet Bruce little section of yellow wall has in spot has inspired endless fascination in his readers so the moment borough Leo’s ceramic pops into focus as the embodied alone ocean that it is the light changes in gallery 114 at first opaque an off-putting as if some gaudy smoke detector bricked-up whole had breached the gallery wall bios wall suddenly becomes a window onto vistas of time art and memory in its strange materiality mundane seeming ceramic bricks to which it is not reducible burrows little section of yellow wall activates that very faculty of involuntary memory that is accidentally awakened when the adult Marcel taste a madellaine dipped in line blossom tea as the Buried memory of his childhood Combray wafts into consciousness born on the long-forgotten aroma and taste of this T soaked cake so their gods death Vermeer’s painting and priests novel all materially absent from gallery 114 suddenly emanate from boro Leo’s fo yellow brick wall hung not with the sherry Levine’s and other postmodern works that are displayed together elsewhere in the museum but here in gallery 114 it’s prosaic look among the Dutch paintings intensifies its astonishing power to occasion and experience of involuntary memory in the visitor is consuming a fetishized madellaine literalized souvenir could never do even as its modesty and contingency recall the humble Rusk that triggers mysterious memory improves earlier drafts of the Madeleine seen ok second example Ulysses readers recall acrux a start confrontation with the fatality of gender centered on a peripheral character the motherless near starving adolescent dilly stephen dedalus is younger sister who in the wandering rocks episode first cajoles money out of her deadbeat dad to feed herself and her younger brothers and sisters then accidentally bumps into stephen by a book car having spent the penny her father gave her for quote milk and a bun on a tattered French primer in desperate doomed hope to fly the Nets of Dublin’s labyrinth as her genius brother is preparing to do in an uncanny mirroring Stephen sees himself in her quote my eyes they say she has quick far and daring shadow of my mind he sees to that she is drowning and knowing he cannot attempt to save her without drowning himself he feels anguish we misery misery Kayla Walker’s dilly Daedalus on the day today adapts the interior monologue technique of the Proteas episode where Stephen thinks and walks on sandymount strand to create a 21st century dilly an American teenage girl I phone glued to her hand intellectually and imaginatively gifted like her literary brother and not so much walking on a beach or a Dublin k by the Liffey Walker’s dilly could be anywhere as wandering in cyberspace typographic features denote the blue outgoing and green incoming text messages the purple updates notices and adds that flash up on her screen and the vibrating phones that interrupt flow into and Eddie in her prodean stream-of-consciousness like Stevens dillies streaming thoughts range deep and wide Socrates Heraclitus Schopenhauer Descartes Ovid Whitman Conrad that tall and Beckett commingled with the Enola Gay children cereal adds the Macintosh that gave nineties kids their first bite of the digital Apple long ago quote when we were convulsive beautiful human children the film mean girls and red-soled Liu tan and i should add parodying Ulysses annotated the volume of know that you can read alongside Ulysses Walker thankfully provides 94 footnotes for this piece like her literary brother Stephen Dedalus in other words Walker’s dilly possesses deep wide cultural literacy a poet sensibility and an agile free playful linguistic virtuosity yet Walter walkers and gendered perspective also preserve something of Joyce’s posing of daily as Stevens reverse mirror-image body starved and spirit stunted by liabilities and deprivation of gender a drowning Ophelia whose watery reflection cut Stevens heart and conscience while Walker’s dilly to is drowning awash in torrance of screen images her selfies other people’s selfies facebook instagram virtual projections of female bodies idealized and otherwise displayed fashion dictates day-to-day life in cyber realm that she reflects is no longer myspace but our space her musings on her state project a new technologically mediated ontology of virtuality centered on her gender they’re not exclusive to it as dilly sees it it’s a matter of virtual life and death in the greek word eudaimonia good spirit or happiness she hears an echo you die her vibrating phone stops confirms her social existence its stillness and silence non-being or death still I hear you noisy palpitations pal confirmed i am alive in electable modality of hearing confirmed i am dead in electable modality of being the digital flickr fluck through the unseeable but always seeing technology to the scene screen body itself and substance seemed almost to dissolve into images screens virtual being life-and-death into the powering on and off of the phone the presence or absence of likes seen counts but more provocative generative figure-four dillies existential condition than narcissus making the old new and the new old Billy riffs on our beds myth to critique the mass media and marketing labeling of millennials as quote the most narcissistic generation we are Genesis she puns and yet whereas narcisse’s needed only his reflection in a creek the phones this promise the vibrating beauty of human connection and whereas narcissus dies but one watery death she muses we nineties kids have died a thousand deaths virtual here’s once you have died of dysentery in the educational computer game or a gun trail social just get in the wagon loser we’re going to recess parodying mean girls and existential when the phones off quote and so we know resurrection is but a flicker away a new life is but a grueling westward journey away keystroke Apple menu logout power up power down restart die you die restart respond unquote and whereas narcisse’s again quote grew to be but his mirror reflection reflected in to reflect upon love in the water the nineties kids have died and birthed ourselves a thousand 1y two capes flicker flicker flux facebook always seeing the quote seen inside her quote seen 815 am Hiroshima seen screen unquote whereas embodied substantial narcissus drowns for love of his image love in the water the nineties kids are the reflection in the creek to turn the phone office to die for we live in the digital flickr digital whispers confirming we are even alive the life in our lies lies in its literally virtual virtual infinity unquote like and unlike narcissus dilly and her peers live and die as in substantial yet existentially urgent reflections glimmering and flickering and banishing in the black depths of cyberspace the reverse mirror image of narcissus they live not as substantial bodies in love with their own beautiful reflections but as ephemeral screen images pure reflections without body clinching this reversal dilly ponders her generations difference from narcissists quote keep calling us narcissistic but it’s like we don’t really know though I mean like I just do not understand mirror mirror do you know we all agree that seeing yourself means nothing unless you are seen unquote in other words again quote if that digital reflection selfie doesn’t get like at least 70 persist that’s like social suicide unquote parodying the constructive nature the inexorable virtual reality in which our generation wells iliac sorts make it you seem as you wish to be unquote in bringing the dilly character to life by the stream of consciousness technique of choices Proteus chapter which little review editor of serializing Ulysses Margaret Anderson called the most beautiful thing we’ll ever have and transporting dilly to the 21st century water creates a deli who doesn’t just follow in Stevens footsteps as he walks on sandymount strand his mind mingling sights and sounds with memory desire poetry and elusive thought as Odysseus has to wrestle the wily shape-shifting see god Proteus into a stable form in order to get home as to write Ulysses Joyce’s Stephen must wrestle protein reality into aesthetic form he does in Proteus when he writes the vampire poem so must Walker’s dilly wrestle the protein flux of her digitally mediate it contemporary reality to fix in aesthetic form the terms of her own generations world and life making new Stevens learn it and lyrical interior monologue adapting its formal grammatical and stylistic features walker gives her dilly a scintillating consciousness that puts the myth of the selfie preoccupied narcissistic millennial i’m quoting The Atlantic Monthly in critical play-making choice and Abed knew she gives her 21st century daly aluminous gravitas that performative Lee counters the one pixel deep virtual reality of her digital surround okay third example virginia woolf’s classic feminist manifesto a Room of One’s Own from 1929 opens with the words but you will say wolf projects an active independent-minded thinking audience who start objecting before she said a single word this opening gambit is in keeping with her larger argument about women and creativity that quote intellectual freedom depends upon material things and poetry depends upon intellectual freedom many readers have voiced objections notably alice walker who in her 1974’s a in search of our mothers gardens celebrates her african-american for Mother’s creativity in face of all odds since far from having rooms of their own and 500 pounds a year they did not always have legal ownership of themselves or their own labor and that’s a quotation from Walker’s SI more recently the British multimedia artist com Wilson has mounted an extraordinary creative response to an explicit racial provocation in a Room of One’s Own will serious supercilious remarked that quote it is one of the great advantages of being a woman compared to her british empire building brothers that one can pass even a very fine Icarus without wishing to make an English woman of her Wilson himself apart ethiopian heritage answers this unkind cut with some creative cutting of his own to make his 2014 novella of one woman or so by olivia and go free Wilson cuts apart every single one of rooms 37,000 971 words and rearranges them and only them into a new work the title as you see is an anagram of a Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf and the game is on a risky game a work of art created within mind-boggling constraints and pursued from 2009 to tooth out to 2014 with no guarantee that it would actually work until it actually had Wilson’s gifted angry queer mixed-race British narrator Olivia and go free is a scholarship student at Cambridge University with a part-time job shelving books in its great library Olivia suffers culture shock and an identity crisis as she seeks her reflection through millions of pages just as the wolf of room does in the British Library forced to study Jane Austen and the rest of the literary canon for her may exams Olivia at once feels her difference and fears the imperative to assimilate herself to the Oxbridge world of power and privilege am i any different to them she wanders one more woman of note from the factory of famous men one woman in a hundred not a real feminist what can i say of equality i set myself apart when I chose to join the world of distinctions in which we are graded against each other and encouraged to think we are infinitely superior advantages i do not need from those I do not like I become part of the problem for women leaping through any glass ceiling to spend my time talking to men with power rushed by a secret student Shakespeare society Olivia passes the ad hoc entry test one of the society members all hidden behind masks of Shakespeare’s face each one with the famous writers name written on the forehead one of the members greets her at the door and says to enter you must tell me the opening sentence of the last novel you read when Olivia answers they shoot the white girl first he asks cooley and that was by whom and when perhaps to hide his own failure to recognize the opening line of Toni Morrison’s paradise Olivia holds her own as members haze her with illusions and wordplay until a racist browning bombards her with hostile racial illusions but can’t we have it less personal I says Olivia at which quote some of them jeer browning browning takes a last stab come on calm down or do you need grass negress he taunts gesturing at the wine bottle Olivia takes up the wine bottle looks around the circle of Shakespeare heads hurls the bottle at the wine glasses and flees into the night feeling more and more alienated by the White author literary canon especially by Room of One’s Own with its casual dismissal missile of a very fine negress because the book absorbs her and she wants to like it Olivia and her job reshelving books in the University Library stumbles on trinidad born clr james’s letters from London skimming it she reads quote the average man in London is eaten up with color prejudice she then takes down the CLR James reader whose black power chapter leads her to Black Panther Party leaders stokely carmichael she has Carmichael as a word because of mary carmichael and she just elides the Stokely and his book black power and onto james baldwin h rap Brown and other authors of the American Civil Rights Movement reading for her life Olivia finds her quote anger concentrated upon all the injustice born of the inadequacy of mankind unquote inflamed by the extreme demand for real justice she wonders if a woman must have money to write fiction what must a woman have to write fact she devises a plot to steal the invaluable manuscript of a Room of One’s Own invaluable as her word from the Cambridge College where it is on current exhibition destroy it and then burn down the library but doubts plague Olivia h rap Browns homophobic dismissal of Shakespeare black powers silence on women distress her no less than wolves very fine Negronis still she proceeds with her incendiary bomb throwing plan urging herself to quote have the courage to complete a war against fiction for a hundred thousand women or so by an army of one woman or so that’s you hear the title about to burn Wolf’s manuscript she finds her torch won’t light she says I’ll tear it up no she can’t make herself tear it up contemplating its yellow precious pages she reflects that it had a far greater effect than it had lately seemed forehead she spent every moment thinking of the liberty of women before then know its value was in its inquiry not its conclusion it served edifying purposes beyond what it said the words were right they were just in the wrong order but if i were to mend it Olivia results i will write her again for the new now altering the old truth of what women are and what fiction is a tribute partly or a sequel partly unquote realizing about rooms words that quote we share them Olivia resolves to make a new word order for a new world order the closing words of the book circling back to its beginning a new world order to campus I think I don’t have this sorry the beginning of the book a new world order refresh from the word go like Bruce Marcel and joyce’s stephen dedalus Wilson’s Olivia arrives at the end of the book that contains her at the task of writing the book that contains her and like wolf Olivia finds both end and beginning for her making new in that fountainhead of shared words Shakespeare that can such sweet use make of what they hate Olivia’s epiphany of the book that will contain her of one woman or so by olivia and go free inspires and are all hominem I live here and go free Olivia and go free how do you pronounce that I live here and go free as Olivia embraces rooms canonical status and makes its emancipatory power new Wilson’s risk-taking creative procedure models a dynamic interchange of global liberation movements in a new work of art quote for the new now of one woman or so converges to with another project Wilson’s dreadlock hoax which takes off from the dread-nots hoax perpetrated in 1910 by Virginia then Stephen horas de Vere Cole her brother Adrian and some friends exotically dressed and made up in blackface by London theatrical costumer they oppose this delegation from the Emperor of Abyssinia and received an official diplomatic welcome aboard hms dreadknot launched in 1906 the dread-nots which like Xerox and kleenex found its proper name appropriated by imitators thereafter led the new generation of all big gunships its Advent escalated the European armaments war and helped instigate the First World War maybe the posters proto pacifist views weren’t lost on the British officers in any case in his dreadlock hoax Wilson impersonated virginia woolf enhancing her with his own hair and deliver to talk in a bloom spree house she once lived in a talk that reorders the words of wool famous essay craftsmanship into an account of his making of of one woman or so in 1937 wolf broadcast craftsmanship for the BBC’s world words sorry words fail me series which is how we come to have the only known recording of her voice as well spoken recorded her craftsmanship SI so in the dreadlock hoax Wilson combines the literary constraints that produced of one woman or so with the are all constraints of a lecture if you go to his website and read the text has his remix text while listening to his recorded version of his own text you see and hear how he sometimes makes sound cover four cents and do come to hear him if you’re free on april fifth that will be giving a talk in university hall ok i turn now to of that by the way is a portrait of her that he made out of a portrait of him by cutting up the digital the digital version of it and piecing it together to look like her so another aspect of the dreadlock hoax ok so the last example of a 21st century artists making a modernist classic New is come L dudes 2013 novella the mirror so investigation published in English last summer a response to albert camus 1941 later on Shay the outsider to redress the murder on the Algerian beach of the Arab man whose identity kamu and his narrator there so ignore haroon the murdered Arabs younger brother tells the story of the crime from his family’s perspective to an investigator in a bar over successive evenings as haroon extends Marceau’s temporal frame through the french colonial period to revolutionary and postcolonial algeria missiles and her wounds two narratives form a complex symmetry twisting around one another like a double helix as the composite story and folds parallel elements and opposition’s rivet the two narratives together there are first the pmr murderer Marceau and his error victim named Musa or Moses an Arab everyman for haroon addresses everyone in the bar as Musa who glimpses but never arrives at the promised land of an algeria both politically independent and spiritually free there are there two mothers Marceau’s remote French mama hardly aware of her son whose death sets the narrative in motion high runes error mother quotes still alive today who reeks obsessive vengeance for muses death through her younger son haroon there’s Marceau’s murder of the unnamed Arab matched by her wounds murder of an Algerian who is quote only a Frenchman named Joseph just after independence has been won and killing Frenchman has been made illegal and there’s the powerful simplicity of the narrative styles of me or so and of course have room mirroring and if these parallels and symmetry suggest an eye-for-an-eye predictability her own story turns such expectations inside out the accurate english translation of electron jay is of course the outsider and what begins as haroon’s resentful antagonism toward their so unfolds through its necessary dialectical reflection to arrive at a strange affinity and intimate mirroring of outsiders in producing himself through his storytelling as mere so is challenging corrective reverse mirror-image haroon speaks himself into being as mere so’s ontological equal estranged in time the two narrators are inseparable bound into one story a story beyond their control by a shared history the violent history of their respective mother countries writ small in the absent causes figured in their souls mother careless pleasure-seeking Imperial France dead and unworn and mousses and haroon’s mother the all to present embodiment of algeria’s impacted colonial and postcolonial oppression runes alienation from religious thought control under Algeria’s post colonial regime parallels their souls profound geographic class and spiritual alienation his rejection of his societies God and its insatiable demand for manifest piety for haroon mare so is the enemy whose mindless violence lighted his life and made him a murderer in his turn yet he’s also paradoxically his son blahblah his prayer as much his spiritual brother as Musa is his broke blood-brother this affiliate of kinship gives haroon’s narrative contemporary urgency the novellas radical critique of the post-independence betrayal of freedom to religious totalitarianism in post-colonial algeria maroon is not a believer but he is a critical reader indeed my dear friend he confides to his interlocutor in the bar the only verse in the Quran that resonates with me is this if you kill a single person as he haroon has done it is as if you killed the whole of mankind unquote her own story begins in outrage and ends in uncanny resemblance paraphrasing Marceau’s closing words if I believe in God I don’t know why every time someone has a question about the existence of god he turns to man and waits for the answer ask him the question put it directly to him sometimes I have the feeling I’m really inside that mineral and I hear them out they’re determined to break down the door you know what I shot back at them a single sentence nobody understands there’s no one here there never has been anyone the mosque is empty the minaret is empty its emptiness itself and for sure here’s where he’s conjoining his voice tumor so there will be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and they will great great great to meet with cries of hate I to like me so would wish them to be Legion my spectators and savage in their hate don’t makes an old story new a green shoot from an old route his new Moses messenger of a deity figured as emptiness itself bearing a commandment forbidding murder for a new now haroon’s voice and story end in this echo of Knossos but cameras imperial and downloads post-colonial stories extend modernist grappling with war revolution and empire and by virtue of the obscure and potent mothers that drive their respective plots gesture toward the no less potent and in many ways obscure constructions of race sex gender and religion that drive contemporary history notes voice carries beyond haroon’s just a couple weeks ago the New York Times published an op-ed piece by dilute previously published in french and arabic entitled in English the sexual misery of the Arab world owed frames the sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve within a culture of severe sexual repression which he concludes is now making Europe a cultural battleground quote people in the West are discovering with anxiety and fear that sex in the Muslim world is sick and that this disease is spreading to their own lands unquote codes piece drew you can I think can you read this here it says 917 comments you can you read that drew and I actually spent the weekend going through them they’re not nearly as predictable repetitive etcetera as you would expect and they come from all over the world so they give its kind of cross section of people’s voices on this on this issue from all different directions and and anyway for present purposes I can’t begin to sum them up but one thing that struck me is that dough remarks the suppression of literature entailed in the complex taboo of sex that he analyzes by the Islamists i’m quoting him the Islamist new rigorous codes and the discrete Puritan ism of the region’s various socialism’s unquote he says it’s a far cry from the delicious licentiousness of the writings of the Muslim golden age like shake that’s always the perfumed Garden of sensual delight which tackled eroticism and the kamasutra without any hangups now he continues in many countries one acts as though sex doesn’t exist and yet it determines everything that’s spoken denied it weighs on the mind by its very concealment although women are veiled they are at the center of our connections exchanges and concerns with everything that’s unspoken among these contemporary artists renovating modernist classics for a new now peterborough Leo’s translation of Christian involuntary memory into what looks like just a wall perhaps epitomizes the way old artworks lay the ground for the unspoken to ambush us in unlooked-for epiphanies and to engender new thought and art Kayla Walker’s delhi Daedalus Cobb Wilson’s Olivia and go free come out boots haroon sustained and augment modernism’s tremendous vigor and relevance releasing energy and hope as they wrestle into aesthetic form the immense panorama of futility and anarchy that is still contemporary history thank you I think the question on at what point in making things that they become so derivative well I was walking out of that right now oh you mean cut it as a kind of literary historical question in other words when will the people who are trying to get artist stop making art actually be right yeah I mean I guess I do I guess my opinion is that the human imagination and human history are are are like whack-a-mole nobody’s going to be able to stop artist for making art and nobody’s going to be able to stop some artists for making art of genius you know so I is there a lot of repetitive derivative unnecessary art of course you know wolf in Room of One’s Own says that masterpieces are not single and solitary births there the fruit of call a lot of collective thinking a lot of thinking in common and I think that’s true of art I mean Joyce was was absorbing everything in his environment through his entire you know his entire life and turning it into art so I think that that there isn’t a simple answer to that but i don’t i don’t think artists / or can be over as long as there are people maybe I’m too optimistic marry a similar curve which is simply the importance of memory everything you’re talking about and sense especially that there are very significant works that everyone knows well not everyone knows we’re very well educated person knows that you can refund the everyone knows proof we all know how often that turns out not to be true everyone knows you will cease and so on everyone knows this little one subject no yeah and to what extent the is the ability to roof of the classics dying and declining in a world where curation to use that not a term that is the idea that vary some authorities and tell you what has to be red so it seems to be dying and you believe the internet everyone is entitled to road readings on their own I mean you’re wonderful talk to you so much memory it absolutely does wondering about the decline of memory and how that might influence Lee after modern world yeah I feel too old to be a prophet and purpose but i think that we’re all experiencing uh maybe over the last 20 years we have some people here who aren’t even 20 years old that reference frame yet but but the change in the ways we communicate and we have we have a young journalist here I mean you know used to be that the paper was the news paper and the TV news you know and now we’re we’re we’re all bombarded you know from from the time we open our eyes to the time we closed them with all kinds of sources and so it’s true and in I think it’s true it permeates our lives that our attention is demanded in so many more ways than we can give it that that you’re right i mean lying on your stomach reading Moby Dick or produced or Joyce you know all summer people don’t do that anymore right they can’t they’re building their resumes they have 2 etcetera you know so i think in a way I think that my 21st century examples are not exemplary of something dying but exemplary of a continuing effort to keep something alive and face of all that and the kala Walker piece on Joyce came from a student in my undergraduate class last year you know and I it’s so thrilling to have a young person she put all that together she said can I write you know it’s aaron she it’s her work so you see not only that people are still hungry as as William Carlos Williams says you know people are dying for want of literature & poetry we live in such a kind of information based materialist culture I think people all the more need what the arts have to give I really believe that that may be a that may date me that but but but it it’s i think i may be a little more optimistic because I believe in that passion still even if it’s a few yes thank you for coming on can you talk a little bit about where there is a connection with the pieces and in the lecture especially something more recent like that its work tied to metafiction of course modern literature in any way where the work becomes more self-reflective if you will as it’s also giving us an outside sense of what’s happening through history but it’s also looking inward can you talk about that well I metafiction uh is a term that did not occur to me for these these particular examples i don’t know if there’s a way in which you see it as applicable to do anything that we’ve been looking at here it was reminding you about looking at history but also taking history your message through and i think but also looking inward is it becomes more effective writing process yeah I i guess in that in that very broad definition you know that would also cover of Don Quijote you know book book to dunk hijo de where they’re looking back and saying you know they got it all wrong in part one you know so that the the metafictional play i think is not quite that a virtue in in these particular examples and yet i’m not sure that it would gain anything if you added that tech that layer of technique any of these particular cases so i think it’s a it’s a particular a technique and I’m just trying to think if there’s if there’s an example maybe you can bring an example to bear that would get you could put aside these and say yes and here’s another way of layering literary history and three groups which really find here is to tell the story relying on what’s before but also layering it essentially had the story becomes successful right that’s very hard to do a session that would think that it’s almost impossible feat fake plants work others were combined it story it’s so red different also speaking yeah I you know the interesting thing about the mirror so investigation as we call it in English and i have only read it in English I found it absolutely stunning I really thought that I have my copy is just tattered and marked up all over and I can’t even begin to talk about uh you know my response to it was so incredibly rich and and what I found amazing about it didn’t have to do with metafiction because the character the narrator has red caboose book and all he’s doing is taking that as history instead of fiction right and writing back a filling in this enormous blank that is even the name of the murder naira right so he gives a brute bodies for all that history which is of course fiction so I think it might be interesting to carry your question into a framing of fiction as many history right and Olivia does that when she you know in that little little bit where she where she talks about where she gets the Epiphany to read to cut this book apart and it’s not nothing wrong with the words they’re just in the wrong order that you know so there’s a metafictional move and there’s also quite a riveting novel much to my amazement you know and come Wilson if you go to his website there’s an interview over an hour and he talks brilliantly about the 45 years he spent doing this and really he didn’t know he had to use every word so he was doing you know important things and getting those worked out and then you have these words left and you know he’d had he’d have so many so many Blacks and obviously wasn’t going to stick them onto a black coat right he had to save those and you know he had James for Henry Henry James so he could split that up and make CLR James and plus it by getting the reader the James you know and just do a lot by context but it it’s amazing that it worked I can’t believe it worked yeah and that it’s such a I heard paper by a colleague at Wisconsin Susan Stanford Friedman on this at a conference in November and now everybody in the country is working on this text because what it’s done is a kind of metafictional thing if you will it has seamlessly attached itself to a Room of One’s Own and you know Joyce changes the way you read The Odyssey and Cobb Wilson’s work will change the way people read a room with one something won’t read it any less but they’ll be that differently thanks for your question yeah value the quick new version of the text if the previous version hasn’t been reading specifically about the hours by I’m definitely and I have a lot of friends actually have read the hours would have never read that away and i had oxygen the legality Knobloch trading style i don’t really see myself getting you ever get a graduate the hours with let’s go readable it’s so different from Virginia wall so I it was interesting like hearing would like to be able to see it for ya you know as a wolf scholar i was around when of when the hours came out and it was the subject of many conference we know sessions and so forth and there was a lot said both about you know in comparing it to mrs. dalloway but also about the way in which was bringing a lot of readers to mrs. dalloway right who became curious about it a mrs. dalloway by reading the hours so um I mean I think as a as a book in itself that won the Pulitzer Pulitzer Prize right and it had a tremendous reception so all of that in itself is is is really good and then it also has this resonance for those who can take advantage of it and this larry was saying attention spans are under great stress now so as you were just saying not everybody you know not all my friends could do it did you happen to get around to both yeah you had already read it Oh that’sthat’s interesting to have read mrs. dalloway would change the way the hours hit you perhaps compared to your friends I don’t know but now I these works are you could certainly let me let me think about it if I can want them to get first of all I think the brolly oh if you haven’t read Prust it it won’t work you know but these these are French people this is a gallery and two friends you know i’m assuming that it would come across to a lot of people there that the amazing play of putting it in with those Dutch masters you know and the Olivia and go free book would be very hard going with I Room of One’s Own because she just wouldn’t have the context and context he has to rely on quite a bit to make it work you know the air so i think you could read that but you wouldn’t know what he was upset about you wouldn’t understand the arbitrary murder of the Arab right so there would be this major absent referent you know in your reading and just kind of hole uh but but I mean the truth is I don’t know what it would be like to read it without that and what’s the other 100 kala Walker’s dilly is literally a character right out of Ulysses so it’s it’s not that you have to read the whole of Ulysses i showed you the page where she comes you know most most vividly across but I guess what attracts me to these pieces is the sense of a community and a young community and a young creative community with whom a one can still share all this right and there’s the load on the you know front page of the New York time right so you know it’s not as if they were in some tiny corner right in the ground is completely eroded don’t think so i don’t really think no matter how much the world thinks it can do without literature i don’t think it can do very well without the imagination and literature and art it just can’t you know bureaucracy can only do so much for us before you really the hardest question for me is the the yellow wall i’m not you know I not having seen it i don’t know whether it’s a wonderful work but the assumption and Bruce is the that’s a big deficit little part of the things they have it I were dying for to have actually tasted yourself for instance the when I see if it doesn’t resonate with the it’s medicine resonate so made terms of the way you explained it that the premier or the bra Liam the blue the girl you’re the one in the variety yeah uh I think it’s a sleeper yeah i mean really you know I went the other way not even thinking about it you know what you know what you know you just don’t think about it you just don’t look at it and until you come to it because the only thing you haven’t looked at and then you sort of say well what could it be and if you know their god and his death and the Vermeer that’s what i was saying is so extraordinary about it those things that are not there are there that’s memory you know which was your first question Larry you know the way we all and this is what what makes you listening to you mrs. right it’s the belief that everybody is not just a bounded surface but what wolf calls a beautiful cave of all the experience of memory and connections with other people and you know a whole all that is here it’s in our neurons doesn’t take up any real space or time it’s just there and the way that humble little ceramic activated that for me is is why I mean I did experience that night and i agree if you didn’t it would work 230 you don’t maybe but again it it feeds my joy in this sense of of these mysterious action at a distance conversations in literature and art you know so I’m sort of primed for that anyway but but i found it so exciting that I couldn’t even remember to do a simple thing like take pictures of the rest of the gallery and I don’t know if it’s still there I don’t know if they’d let that they’re not but I thought it was rather brilliant on the curious part yeah just one more thing I wanted to and i think it’s interesting we know what the current responses to those responses sexual misery the 917 i believe you can read they had closed I guess that’s a convention that they just closed it after a certain point you know so for some days like in 25 2015 that was open or 16 and and then the end the shutdown comment what he says the text progress that’s that’s very very courageous setting in india and experiencing both agriculture our culture to use I’m receptors and global sense three days very dangerous there is a an unschooled mom i have read about who called for a bot walk called for a fought one does not have the power himself but has said we really should kill this you know and and it is it is really it is really courageous I I couldn’t agree more on and a lot of the comments remark on that and thank him and I mean they come from all kinds of play they literally come from all over the world and from lots of different places you know within that but a lot of them remark the guts just the guts you know just to speak and I think that’s why i love this work to the people are really trying to speak even when the world doesn’t seem it was he was like no prayer of being heard right or acknowledge people are still doing it and that I you know that has to be applauded and encouraged and you know cheered and because as I say swim swim says will die without art okay well thank you so much for coming and for your wonderful questions

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