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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Robert Sheppard: The Meaning of Form ... Conceptual Writing Goldsmith/Place/Seed


The Trace of Poetry and the Non-Poetic: Conceptual Writing and Appropriation in Kenneth Goldsmith, Vanessa Place and John Seed


Conceptual writing is, in terms of its poetics, very clear in its intention to privilege appropriation as a mode, and it appears to downplay form. The theories (and some ‘uncreative’ works) of Kenneth Goldsmith are expounded in support of its own practice; Vanessa Place’s Statement of Facts, with its gruelling accounts of rape, is read against conceptualist theory as a formal entity. The other of conceptual writing’s (self-confirming) poetics is form. The work of British poet John Seed, post-Objectivist appropriations and transformations (by means of poetic artifice) of Mayhew’s accounts of the nineteenth century London poor, Pictures from Mayhew, serves to show how a successful formal and conceptual project may be achieved. 

My extensive posts, on both the conceptualists and on Seed may be accessed here.

For those who can buy the book, or order it for libraries, here are the places