Friday, 26 July 2013

Ponge; ‘wrong’

Two exemplary blog posts (not by me):

This one, on Francis Ponge, is from Dennis Cooper’s blog, and it’s of use to both those who are now saying ‘Francis who?’ and those who are saying, ‘Oh good, yes please, take me there.’ The fact that the book it recommends is Beverley Bie Brahic’s translations of Ponge, Unfinished Ode to Mud, published by CBe, doesn’t hurt.

It’s less an introduction to Ponge than a resource. There are extracts from lit crit; videos (including 4 minutes of BBB reading her translations at Shakespeare & Co, and the demolition of a tower block); more than a dozen links to other places; photographs of Ponge (with Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, with André Breton, etc) and of his drafts and notebooks; sample translations of the work, including excerpts from ‘My Creative Method’ (‘No doubt I am not very intelligent: in any case ideas are not my strong point. I’ve always been disappointed by them … Wanting to give one’s opinion as objectively valid, or in the absolute, seems to me as absurd as to state, for example, that curly blonde hair is truer than sleek black hair’); and if you’re still around after all the above, a thread of comments, some more relevant than others, by the blog’s followers (‘I have a fancy that I go on a date with Ponge. I know he was poor but his modest will and lovely observation on things that make them the text-object is just my thing’; ‘took painkillers. So I am cool now’).

This one, from a blog written by John Latta, came my way after I posted here, last Sunday, the Robinson quiz (still no complete answers; the stumbling block appears to be 1(e)). It comprises 25 brief excerpts, most from the work of US poets (though Beckett and Keats are in there too), all having within them the word ‘wrong’. Is it a collage, an assembly, a machine (think Tinguely)? It’s a composition, definitely. Scroll through the blog archive on the right and you’ll find other machines based on recurrence of other words: zebra, nail, joke, lemon, mutt, all among those from this year. The strings of excerpts chime, bounce, tease; I think they’re lovely.

PS: And here is a blog post, dated today, on Todd McEwen’s The Five Simple Machines. ‘World is crazier and more of it than we think, / Incorrigibly plural.’

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