Thursday, August 31, 2006

Re: Piccinini & afterlife 

CA, hassen, and Frank:

I've enjoyed reading many of your thoughts "Re: Piccinini," esp. CA's last post and his comment that the work (Strader's, which I don't know) was destroyed to control it. This is an illuminating comment and insight.

I'd like to add one more thought here, which is that even destroying a piece doesn't completely end all the things it still can mean, since it can live on in the person, or the people who experienced it.

Another connection is people who have died who live on in the people they once knew who continue to live. Some people are truly said to live on after they die; that seems to me to be at least one way to understand what is known as the afterlife.

One last thought for now, this conversation also sent me back to a line from Ashbery, which I quoted in a review now on Jacket 21. Here is the paragraph from that review:

In the book-length poem Flowchart (1991), Ashbery offers a relevant tidbit as to how the work may be experienced. He writes: “Our words are interpreted left/and right as they become speech, and so it is possible at the end that a judgment/maybe/ formed, and yet the intrepid/listener does no such thing, hypnotized by his reflection, and it is up/to us to file the final report on the decision in many cases.”

--from a review on Ashbery on Jacket 21, Feburary 2003.

--Tom Devaney

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