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Does Gnoetry Make You More Like You?

May 12, 2009

I’ve typically argued that Gnoetry, by separating the human end user from the usual psychosocial sources of poetic production, complicates if not eradicates the “individual” from the aesthetic act. What if by releasing the (poetic) end-user from the cultural/historical/social systems we’ve been told we are the mere results of by Positivism and its step-children, Structuralism and ‘deconstruction,’ Gnoetry radically re-asserts the objectivity of value and hence asserts the existence of a liberated, non-neo-liberal individual??

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Erok7 permalink
    May 17, 2009 4:09 pm

    I’ve thought about this a bit, too, as I worked with Gnoetry and similar processes. The foreword to Jackson Mac Low’s A THING OF BEAUTY (and the essay that follows, “Pleasure and Poetry,” I think) both have sections that discuss his change of opinion on the removal of the individual (the ego) from the writing act over the course of his career. In the 50’s and 60’s, he felt very strongly that there was this eradication of the individual, but as he worked in the 90’s and 00’s on poems like the Stein poems, which utilized the DiasText program designed by Charles O. Hartman, he came to feel like this was a wrong way of interpreting the process, as preference and selection (which words or phrases are chosen as “right” and which are discarded as “wrong”) are at the heart of the process, and the ego-subject must still be the judge in these matters.

    That being said, I’m not sure I can stand behind any assertion of the objectivity of value as values are in large part determined within the larger social-historical context of a culture and the individuals within it. What any radical poetry should do, if it chooses to be relevant on such as level, is frame itself within values in opposition to those held by the neoliberal-corporatist ideology. This is, though, still an issue of subjectivity, and thus a further set of choices that individuals must choose to make or ignore.

  2. Eric Elshtain permalink
    May 18, 2009 10:14 am

    Given though that the software interferes with cultural value by interjecting mathematical value (a zero is zero everywhere; a one is a one everywhere) into the realm of (mathematically derived and constrained.) choices, there *is* a certain objective standard of value being applied to the poetic language. This is in grand opposition to the idea of individualism inherent in so much sloppy neo-liberal poetry…

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