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Poetics on Five Dollars a Day


This highly theoretical essay represents a fair attempt at establishing a pre-poetics, a poetics which comes before poetics proper. That is, to say that all those activities which do not find their way into the critical literature, which are regarded in fact as antecedent to the poetic act, can form a valuable object of study whose legitimacy is on equal footing with poetics since Aristotle.

Not unlike the history of poetics itself, this essay shifts its premises, its voice and convictions to offer a confused diatribe which mistakes bad taste for common decency. I therefore take issue with the position that the best way to examine a work is not by emulating it.

The opening portion of this essay briefly evaluates my relation to contemporary art and art history. What follows this is a fuming tirade directed at the past fifteen years of art self-legitimation. The introduction concludes with a pathetically unconvincing apology for my not being able to truly deviate from precedents set by predecessors and contemporaries.

The text might be best described as not only an attack on what Alexis Lykiard terms in his preface to Lautréamonts' Poésies the "odour of humourless reverence," but an assault on the smell of humorless relevance fed by self-proclaimed champions of the state of the art.

This essay comes at a time when the wolf is at the door and the baby has been thrown out, not only with the bath water, but with the tub as well.

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