Giusi Tamburello on A Common Strangeness

I am very grateful to Giusi Tamburello for giving A Common Strangeness its first review in Italian, in the journal InVerbis. Tamburello describes A Common Strangeness as “un volume molto ricco e stimolante.” You can read her full review here.

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Andrea Bachner reviews A Common Strangeness

I was delighted to discover recently that Andrea Bachner has reviewed A Common Strangeness for CLEAR (Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews).  Bachner concludes the review very kindly: “If Edmond’s A Common Strangeness with its linguistic expertise, its cross-cultural scope, its masterful analyses, and its theoretical insights is at all indicative of the state of the discipline (or at least of some of the best work it can produce), I am not overly worried about the future of comparative literature.” Meanwhile, I can’t wait to read Bachner’s book Beyond Sinology: Chinese Writing and the Scripts of Culture, which has just come out from Columbia University and which promises to be a real treat.

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New issue of Deep South online

Deep South logo 2013A new issue of the University of Otago’s electronic literary journal Deep South is out now. Lynley Edmeades and Catherine Dale have done a wonderful job with the latest number. The site has at the same time been given a complete overall and fresh look by Gilbert May. May has also created a new index of past issues while thoughtfully preserving their individual look and feel. Those issues and their design are themselves a taonga or treasure for both New Zealand literature and those, like me, who are interested in literature’s intersection with the history of the World Wide Web.

For a while now, I’ve been suggesting that Deep South is New Zealand’s longest-running electronic literary journal, though I remain interested to hear from anyone who is able to cite a counterexample. The first issue went live in February 1995 and is still online in all its mid-1990s glory. This issue, then, predates what the National Library of Australia claims as Australia’s oldest archived webpage, a May 1995 edition of The Australian Observer. Of course, what the National Library is interested in is the date of archiving, rather than of creation or whether the page is still extant. Still, the oldest Deep South pages, which predate the Way Back Machine’s earliest snapshots of the web, have the genuine feel of 1990s web design in a way that is hard to replicate today.

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Chinese Literature Today reviews A Common Strangeness

CLT_Issue5_Cover_6“By putting texts of disparate cultural and even historical moments into physical proximity with one another, by reproducing and reading these artworks together in a powerful act of multilingual erudition, and by bring them into a generatively loose organization through the use of . . . literary theory, the book embodies some of the structures it describes: It is a lattice made from disparate materials, an oscillation between the global and particular, and a mobilization of the idiosyncratic and the complex against some of the basic narratives assumed to underpin the post–Cold War world.” ––Nick Admussen, Chinese Literature Today

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Helen Tartar

Photo by Bruce Gilbert

I was devastated to learn this morning of the death of Helen Tartar in a car accident. Over the coming days and weeks, there will no doubt be many tributes from eminent scholars and editors who knew Helen much better than I did. And if I can find the words, I will try to record some of my memories of her. But I want to say here simply that Helen was an exceptional editor and human being and that I was very privileged to have known her, if only a little. I owe her a great debt, not only for publishing a book whose failure to fit into the usual categories would have deterred many less fearless editors, but also for reminding me of the love of words and the passion for ideas that must be at the heart of scholarly publishing.

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Michael Peverett on A Common Strangeness

intercapillary spaceMichael Peverett has a brief but thoughtful post about A Common Strangeness on Intercapillary Space.

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Otago poetry and poetics podcasts

Lisa Samuels poetry with a pulse Dunedin 31 July 2013

Lisa Sameuls reading, with Loveday Why and David Howard behind. Dunedin, 31 July 2013.

Some of the recordings from last year’s Poetry with a Pulse series of readings, held in Dunedin, New Zealand, are now online and available for download below and on the University of Otago’s Humanities podcasts page. These include recordings of readings by Lisa Samuels, David Howard, Jaap Blonk, Rhian Gallagher, and Bernadette Hall, with recordings of readings by Sue Wootton, Selina Marsh, Rogelio Guedea, Fiona Farrell, Michele Leggott, David Eggleton, and Vincent O’Sullivan still to come. The two Poetry with a Pulse series were brilliantly curated by Lynley Edmeades, Orchid Tierney and Loveday Why, and supported by the University of Otago Division of Humanities Performing Arts Fund.

In addition, I’m delighted that Brian Reed’s wonderful lecture on deletion poetics, delivered at the University of Otago in August 2012 is now online.

Poetry with a Pulse, Series II (curated by Lynley Edmeades and Loveday Why)

David Howard & Lisa Samuels MP3 (57.15 MB) or  MP4 (86.00 MB) (recorded 31 July 2013)

Poetry with a Pulse (curated by Lynley Edmeades and Orchid Tierney)

Jaap Blonk on Sound Poetry MP3 (73.98 MB) MP4 (196.42 MB)
(recorded 28 February 2013)

Rhian Gallagher MP3 (31.74 MB) or MP4 (91.43 MB) (recorded 14 February 2013)

Bernadette Hall MP3 (33.05 MB) and MP4 (89.11 MB) (recorded 14 February 2013)

Brian Reed – Less is More: Contemporary Poems Composed Through Deletion (MP3: 61.49 MB)
Open lecture by Professor Brian Reed, Department of English, University of Washington. Since the turn of the millennium, a number of poets have begun composing verse by taking pre-existing texts and selectively deleting words, phrases, sentences, and even whole sections. Does it make sense to call such poets “writers” in anything but a very loose sense, since, instead of generating text, they remove it? Moreover, since they give us nothing but passages of borrowed language with the original word order preserved intact, can we say that they are sharing their unique thoughts, experiences, and emotions? This talk will argue that today’s poetry-by-subtraction is best understood as an inventive response to information overload. (Recorded 2 August 2012.)

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