"I teach horizontally, meaning that while I might begin with a fixed idea of what I'm going to teach that day, I let it drift rhizomatically way off topic, often pulling it back when it gets too far. I rely on non-fixed materials to teach this way; the whole world is at my fingertips. Should I go off on a tangent about John and Rauschenberg and their love relationship as expressed in Rauschenberg's bed, an image of that bed is always a click away. From there, we can head anywhere into the non-fixed universe, be it film, text or sound. And of course, that always takes us elsewhere. As Cage says, 'We are getting nowhere fast.'" MORE...
Jack Kimball's blog: "I guess it's no surprise Al Filreis runs one of the best pedagogic blogs. It operates as a topical resource portal, jammed with research ideas, a bloggy palliative for chronic unfocusedness."
'To write well about catastrophes, especially catastrophes that—thanks to media immersion—“everybody knows,” requires a difficult hybrid of concentration, severity, delicacy, nearness and distance. I don’t know that anyone has yet got the imaginative measure of that terrifying day six years ago. Certainly our Tolstoy has not crawled out of the rubble. The closest we have, Don DeLillo, succeeded as an essayist-journalist ("In the Ruins of the Future: Reflections on Terror and Loss in the Shadow of September,” Harper’s, December 2001) but, to my mind, failed as a novelist ("Falling Man"). One reason, perhaps, is that the remembered emotion was instantly buried under a pile of cultural junk.' - Tod Gitlin in his review of Susan Faludi's The Terror Dream (written for Truthdig.com). MORE...
When he returned to the United States, he saw a translation of Hitler's Mein Kampf for sale and, having read the original, recognized that it had been watered down to make it less worrisome to Americans, he said. So he quickly brought out an unauthorized, fuller translation and sold half a million copies of it for 10 cents apiece until the Third Reich sued him for copyright violation.
this blog supports open access
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modern art not nuts
After looking at an abstract mural at the U.N. then President-elect Eisenhower said, "To be modern you don't have to be nuts."
"If you go to Paterson, you may now happen upon a secret shrine to William Carlos Williams' poem. Although, it might not be there anymore. Composed of trash the Education Department leaves in the abandoned Hinchliffe Stadium (e.g. busted file cabinets, waterlogged textbooks, wobbly bookcarts), the shrine is itself subject to the vagaries of what constitutes trash and what art . . . and what, for that matter, desirable furniture. After the first day, the "library" aspect of the shrine--a small bench facing a bookshelf under a tree sprouting from the concrete and stocked with English textbooks and xeroxes of Paterson in baggies--was disrupted when someone must have realized that the bookshelf was indeed still a good book shelf, and took it away (even though it may have been there for years.) It must have been a critic, because they also let their dog "have their way" in the shrine as well."--from the blog New Jersey as an Impossible Object
Magazine story published in 2001 about my use of e-media in teaching. "Postmodernist poets focused on the process of their poetry, rather than on what the words in their poems actually said. The purpose was to make poetry and language new again. There's no better way to describe Filreis' teaching style. He uses technology to free class time for discussion, which to Filreis is more important than the course material itself. The point is to develop his students' ability to think critically, not to have memorized every last fact about Gertrude Stein. And yet, he said, through that active engagement with the material, students end up remembering more of the content."
"My favorite memory of Bob Lucid is from when he led the summer in London program in 1985 that I attended. He turned up one morning for class, seemingly drunk, and announced, 'What the world really needs is a good breakfast wine!'"--Ilona Koren-Deutsch
can't stop saying I dislike it...
click here for more about a film very friendly toward sovereignty
...asked to sign a petition that contained nothing except quotations from the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. One hundred and eleven of these people refused to sign that paper. [LINK]
‘Nothing is so sacred or so despicable that it cannot, at some time, be uttered as poetry.’--Alan Loney
Tom Short, an itinerant evangelist brought to campus by the Texas A&M Christian Fellowship, told one student that, because she is Jewish, she is going "to burn in Hell." He told another Jewish student that "Hitler did not go far enough."
Between the high detail of the foreground and the abstract distance of the horizon, the reader is invited in. One can take one’s stuff; it is quite roomy. It is the space, say, of a city square, an open market, a corner bodega, a hotel lobby. Here we greet each other, exchange information and opinion, but because we are on our way elsewhere, a certain civility prevails; we do not intrude, or impose.
Wallace Stevens writing about a friend's mule and cow:
Somehow I do not care much about Lucera. I imagine her standing in the bushes at night watching your lamp a little way off and wondering what in the world you are doing. If it was she, she would be eating. No doubt she wonders whether you are eating words. But I take the greatest pride in now knowing Pompilio, who does not have to divest himself of anything to see things as they are. Do please give him a bunch of carrots with my regards. This is much more serious than you are likely to think from the first reading of this letter.
Tony Green of New Zealand
one of his word scultpures
Samuel Johnson on the lecture
"Lectures were once useful; but now, when all can read, and books are so numerous, lectures are unnecessary. If your attention fails, and you miss a part of a lecture, it is lost; you cannot go back as you do upon a book... People have nowadays got a strange opinion that everything should be taught by lectures. Now, I cannot see that lectures can do as much good as reading the books from which the lectures are taken. I know nothing that can be best taught by lectures, except where experiments are to be shown. You may teach chymistry by lectures. You might teach making shoes by lectures!"
Aw rust rust rust rust die die die pipe pipe ash ash die die ding dong ding ding ding rust cob die pipe ass rust die words-- I'd as rather be permiganted in Rusty's moonlight Rork as be perderated in this bile arta panataler where ack the orshy rosh crowshes my tired idiot hand 0 Lawd I is coming to you'd soon's you's ready's as can readies by Mazatlan heroes point out Mexicos & all ye rhythmic bay fishermen don't hang fish eye soppy in my Ramadam give--dgarette Sop of Arab Squat...
"I'm saying that the domain of poetry includes both oral & written forms, that poetry goes back to a pre-literate situation & would survive a post-literate situation, that human speech is a near-endless source of poetic forms, that there has always been more oral than written poetry, & that we can no longer pretend to a knowledge of poetry if we deny its oral dimension."--Jerome Rothenberg
how to write
The minute you disperse a crowd you have a sentence.--Gertrude Stein, How to Write