Welcome to the Pataquerical Night Show

Runa Bandyopadhyay
Essay, Reviews, Translation
Welcome to the Pataquerical Night Show

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Play:-The Pataquerical Imagination: Midrashic[1] Antinomianism[2] and the Promise of Bent Studies.

Producer: Runa Bandyopadhyay

Director & Writer: Charles Bernstein

Plot:-   Pataquerical poet Charles Bernstein is presenting a covexit strategy “against the viral didacticism of duty-bound poems”[3] to exit from a long term lockdown of poetry in the house of official verse culture. It is in the form of a play with genre fantasy in 140 Fits or paroxysms of “literary in(ter)ventions” of pataquerical imagination with the novel pharmakon[4] of language, a drug acting as both poison and medicine, invented in “Plato’s Pharmacy”, to fashion Bernstein’s melody for the malady of poetics because it is high time for pataquericalists to “display their views, parade their aims, parody their tendencies” to challenge the status quo of the complacent poetry world with “a whoosh & higgly hoot & a he-ho-hah”. The process also explores the promise of bent studies “to move beyond the “experimental” to the untried, necessary, newly forming, provisional, inventive poetics” because “innovation resists maps” and all pataquericalists look for “a poetics that rejects the historical avant-garde’s colonic high ground of single best solution but also rejects its dark twin, the bottom-feeding low ground of official verse culture’s lobotomization of poetic invention”.

Dramatis Personae:-

*   Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, William Blake, Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, Stéphane Mallarmé, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Fanny Brice

Superintendent Fenza & the Graeae

Countrymen, Cadets, Soldiers, Monkeys, a French Doctor, Porters, an Old Man, Apparitions, Witches, Professors, Poets, Lords, Gentlemen, Ladies, Officers, Murderers, Attendants, and Messengers

Genre:-    Fantasy

Music by:-    Pataquerical Poets

Production Company: –   Ongshumali

Release Date:-    Covidic Year

Running Time:-   30 Mins in the midnight silence.

Country:-       USA & India

Language:-     English & Bengali 

Budget:-  Negative, because “the economy of poetry is antipathetic to profit…in poetry’s negative economy, loss prolongs intensification.”

Box Office:- TBD by Audiences, because pataquerical imagination activates/charges the kinetic/dynamic dark energy of audiences: “they were not told what to think or feel or see but encourage to make intuitive leaps: to interenact” through their own imaginary experiences rather than passively consume.

Note:- A play before the original play! The covidiot producer Runa Bandyopadhyay likes to present something, but it is not a thing because a thing can be sold but I am not selling any thing; may be an introduction may be not, may be a play before the play or may be nothing because “I have nothing to say and I am saying it….nothing more than nothing can be said.”[5] Dear audience, please allow her with a pataphysical ‘ha, ha’.



Scene1      The tomb of Edgar Allan Poe, “the birthplace of pataquerics.” The background screen is trying to visualize “art for art’s sake”. The background song “only this and nothing more” is reverberating with its exposition of the utopia of language where “the words sing the songs while the singers listen”.

≠  Cast:-   Edger Allan Poe

≠  Fit:-     The poetic principle

   Edger Allan Poe is acting as an emblematic American writer with his iconic work “The Poetic Principle” which defines poetry as “The Rhythmical Creation of Beauty” against the “high-minded moral and didactic principles” of American literary history. Morality suffocates aesthetic creation; a belief of duality between good and evil, moral and immoral, right and wrong, a comparison between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’, an escape route from factuality, from reality; but poetry is a sound track of reality of present moment, the moment where we dwell with our tradition, culture, politics, language, love and losses, to echo Bernstein, “Poetry offers not a moral compass but an aesthetic probe.”

    The ‘moment’ also refers to transient states of excitement for which poe’s insistence to look a long poem as a series of ‘moments’: “a poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul. The value of the poem is in the ratio of this elevating excitement. But all excitements are, through a psychal necessity, transient,”[6]  echoing reductio absurda of Zeno’s paradox: what is in motion moves neither in the place it is nor in one in which it is not- the nonexistence at the beginning, at the middle, at the end- echoing the Eastern philosophy that Brahma, the whole, the inner self can never be brought within the scope of any affirmation. So the whole is only in parts, in “intense moments of excitement”, a Poe-tics of “temporal nowledge rather than atemporal knowledge.” Time is composed of instants- moments- nows – and nothing else. All events/occurrences of the material world are only the instantaneous vibrational patterns of the superstring, spread over the space-time, engaged in endless infinite rhythm – we listen to this rhythm but the temporal location of the event is uncertain; to echo Dickinson, “when”—not where—“the meanings are.”


Scene1     Budget session in the play house of Poetry. Emily Dickinson is drafting the statement of budget to be presented to the audience. Background screen is trying to visualize the holographic version of Dickinson’s poem. The background song is playing an Eastern hymn “Not this, not this”.

≠  Cast:- Emily Dickinson

≠  Fit:– Who knows where or when?

    Dickinson is now starting the budget session with her famous song, “Nothing is the force / That renovates the World” and audience, who is already facing global economic recession in the pandemic year, 2020, is getting puzzled with this Negative Economy of poetry. Now, director Bernstein has arrived to rescue the audience with his dark Pitch of Poetry to say that though poetry has a negative price in the marketplace, but it creates a negative value which is a different kind of economy, called “exchange economy, …the economy in which direct profit is not the aim, losses from the cost of reproduction (from a photocopy to a reading in a bar to a website or MP3 file) are minimized in an effort of maximize exchange value.” John Cage’s “nothing” is echoed and reversed and reflected in Bernstein’s pitch, “I have nothing to say and I am not saying it. I have nothing to not say and I am saying it. I have nothing to not say and I am not saying it.”

    The producer, being an Indian and indifferent to the material world, has been immersed in the song of Dickinson, the antinomian, where ‘Nothing’ is resonating with Brihadaranyaka Upanishad: “Not this, not this, not gross, not minute”[7], the negation of negation is in all-inclusive sense, makes the process a positive stimulus of multiple possibilities “that renovates the world.”

    Since there is no publishing history of her poems, the reading of Dickinson’s poem through holograph version makes difference in “when/where” in the official editions of her work. These “stray marks” as Susan Howe recognized, is the pataquerical term, the “internal difference” to echo Dickinson, gives rise to multiple ways of reading a poem as per reader’s perception and instead of a fixed single best solution, it opens the infinite possibilities of a poem, performing and responding to overlapping meanings, to make the sign of strain against the grain, temporal oscillation to redefine the words through pataquerical imagination.


Scene1     William Carlos William is visualizing the invisible dark matter into scientific perceivable range by its effect on the audience. A background screen is trying to do the visual abstraction of “COMME SI” as Mallarmé did in his “Un coup de Dés”. A background melody of “Nothing but the blank” is reverberating with “JAMAIS” to echo the rhythm of “nevermore”.

≠  Cast:- William Carlos William with coactor Stéphane Mallarmé

≠  Fit:–  Only this and nothing more

“Nothing but the blank”in the long poem “Paterson” by William Carlos William: the pataquerical sublime echoing Indian philosophy of blank: “Prana, the life force, is the Brahma (the self), pleasure is the Brahma, blank is the Brahma/ Pleasure is the blank, blank is the pleasure”[8] ; to say that the Brahma, the innerself, the soul, the whole, dwells in the blank, in the void space of our heart; the dark energy of our heart, “shadow of an absent source”, a presence in absence, existence within non-existence, non-being in all-being, nothing in all-thing, a pataquerical sublime. ‘OM’ of Brahma, the song, the sound of word,  the nude words of a poem dwell around this blank centre, the centre of the possibility of freedom, a void in the abyss of ‘nothing’ to echo Mallarmé, “in which all reality dissolves…COMME SI…as if a simple insinuation in silence”[9] to refer to “no more nor less” to echo the Poe-tic principle “This poem which is a poem and nothing more”: “Only this and nothing more” to echo  Bernstein “negation of all but the event of sound and rime as sublime and blank, full and empty, here / not here.”


Scene1     William Blake, one of the key workers in the pataquerical zone of poetry, is presenting his “pharmakon of condescension” for the treatment of “distressed metrics” of the quarantined human in the global pandemic 2020. The background music is buzzing with the tune of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” echoing Indian government’s strategy with its single and only one poetic utterance in its lifetime- “vocal for local” to fight against the global recession. Once Bernstein said, “A President should campaign in prose and govern in poetry”, but the skeptical producer is arguing that the government’s rhyme may appear as “just talk” rather than action. To echo the hearsay- behind every successful aphorism (man), there is a cultural mark (woman)- the producer is arguing ironically that the government’s strategy of the self-reliance is a plain plagiarism from the Indian housewives who are presently coping with maidless household chores along with their unhabituated WFH[10] husband in their nearly-habituated quarantined life.

≠  Cast:- William Blake with coactor Ralph Waldo Emerson

≠  Fit:–   The human abstract

    William Blake is listening to the director’s version of his iconic poem “The human abstract”,   where “abstract” is to mean reifying the human, making it into an idea; in opposition to the human concrete, the human particular. The producer queerly interrupted director with the view of a contemporary American poet Elizabeth Willis who wrote a book with the same title, The human abstract[11] : the human is always figural and the abstract is non-figural in terms of visual composition. Willis took the challenge of not just thinking of two things at the same time but thinking in two different ways at the same time. She explored what the figuration means relative to figures of speech and by how we might think of the figure; that is, by the pattern or body implied by the kinds of repetition and metaphorical usage that might appear in a poem. In general concept poetry is always figureless. The poet, passionate with beauty, creates an abstract figure of hir phenomenal experience by words in the way it has taken shape in hir imaginary world, and express with words which are not symbols, but signs, sounds e.i. endless possibilities to engage in mental fight against hir own bondage by the self-made human abstract. Like the expanding universe poetry expands to infinity, an endless transformation of itself could be heard in the pitch of Bernstein, “abstraction is never more than extension of figuration, just as figuration is never more than extension of abstraction. But also abstraction is never more than figuration of extension.”; “the body of the poem is not “material” body but as Blake says, “a Spiritual Body”; that is to say, the poem is symbolic space, an imaginary space, where the value lies in not “representing” the world but exploring the “real” in and as language.”[12]

    Blake used pity as a pharmakon for our animalady,[13] where Jacques Derrida’s term pharmakon in his “Plato’s Pharmacy” was used in double sense, a drug which is both poison and medicine; and  Bernstein’s term Animalady is to refer to “the human malady of being and resisting being animal.” Being detached from his original form, human makes his own abstract image for his own existence, as a fence of his own security, under the veil of the universal human sentiment, to echo Bernstein, “Pity is a viral form of Cruelty emanating from the Human Brain,” to echo Nietzsche, “Why have sympathetic actions been praised?….. the noble man also helps the unfortunate, but not-or scarcely-out of pity, but rather from an impulse generated by the super-abundance of power.”[14]  When a poet discovers his lack of freedom, his conflict and struggle with these limitations begin. He becomes aware of his own thought process and discovers the delusion of divisions between thought and thinker, observed and observer, known and knower and takes a quantum leap from certainty to uncertainty, from sanity to insanity, beyond the rigidity of nepohumane society and becomes ostracized to the pataquerical world.


Scene1     The Brooklyn Bridge of New York city. Hart Crane is waiting on “The Bridge.” In the background screen red and green lights are flashing between “splendid failure” and “irresplendent success” in disguise of antonym. Edger Allan Poe is singing his melody of “never more” as the background music.

≠  Cast:- Hart Crane

≠  Fit:–Irremediation [Facsimile]

       Hart Crane is waiting on “The Bridge” for a “pick-up” by moral critic or pataquerical critiqueer to recognize its failure or success. Edger Allan Poe has arrived silently on The Bridge with his “flashpoint aesthetics” as “The Poetic Principle” of “brief and indeterminate glimpses” to outcast all moralist to establish that “The aesthetic power of The Bridge occurs not in spite of, but in connection to, its immediate (moralists would say perverse) bursts of sensation, analogous to transient sexual exchanges on the bridge.” And the pataquerical poet registers irremediable failure of The Bridge with a pataquerical term irremediation, a term coined by Bernstein that belongs to the scope of bent studies, to echo Poe-tics “never more” to gift Crane’s long poem a negative economy to prolong intensification by loss.

     As one of the countrymen among the casts has thrown a question over the word “Facsimile”-in what sense the fit is Facsimile here, – director Bernstein has arrived on the stage to say that it is an ontological joke- It is a facsimile without any original. That is what writing is, in its reproducibility, which echoes his poem, “Reality is usually a poor copy of the imitation. The original is an echo of what is yet to be. Time is neither linear nor circular; it is excremental. Beauty is the memory of the loss of time. Memory is the reflection of the loss of beauty…. I always hear echoes and reverses when I am listening to language. It’s the field of my consciousness. When we stop making — manufacturing, imposing — sense then we have a chance to find it.”[15]


Scene1      Walt Whitman is reciting one of his most dystopian poem “Let that which stood in front go behind! and let that which was behind advance to the front and speak.”[16] The background screen is imagining the Mad house in the south of France, “Maison de Santé” of “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether” by Edger Allan Poe, though “literal translation is not mad house but the reverse, house of health”. The perpetual crowing of “Cock-a-doodle-de-dooooooh”, as a background melody, is expressing the omnipresence of pataquerical insane aversive to institutional sane.

≠  Cast:- Walt Whitman with coactor Edger Allan Poe

≠  Fit:– Tarr & Fether

      Edger Allan Poe is acting as chairperson of the meeting of the Society for the Devolution of Midrashic Antinomianism with his work “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether”, which is crucial to Bent Studies. Midrashic Antinomianism, coined by Bernstein, a new approach of bent studies to recognize “that a poem is not one but many, that sound and sense are as much at odds as ends…to come to some conclusions a work of art always exceeds its material constructions as well as its idealizations, physical or digital instantiations, anterior codes or algorithmic permutations, experiences while reading or viewing are no more than weigh stations and any number of interpretations, contexts of publications, historical connections—all these have a charmed affinity clustering around a center that is empty.”[17]

     The lunatic asylum “Maison de Santé” is radically progressive, practicing “soothing” method, as the director Bernstein explains, “if I am dissatisfied, I look to language to sooth my wounds and change my attitude” and this is the basis for a “pataqueroid utopia in which no standard of normalcy is enforced,” a “pirate utopia” or “Temporary Autonomous Zone” (TAZ) [18] in anarchist American author Hakim Bay’s sense, outside the containment zone of the American OVC[19]. The inmates of the asylum are pataquerical insane and their reality is queer and mysterious. Reality comes before mind and matter. Reality conceives mind and matter, and helps us to realize its existence, yet reality is imperceivable within the boundaries of matters, within the reason of the mind; only its multidimensional counterfactual reflections can be felt deep in the heart of consciousness and everything outside of this is unreal. Those who are mesmerized by this unreal are sane by the standards of the conventional normalcy of the society. The darker truth of the Poe’s story is reflecting in Bernstein’s pitch “if you want to valorize a group designated as sane you need to stigmatize and scapegoat a group designated as insane. That parasitic relation is, no doubt, foundational for bent studies.”


Scene1   The site of The Philosophical Investigation by Wittgenstein. The background screen is toggling between sexual and texual meaning of the Wittgenstein’s pataquerical term “queer”. Background melody of Wordsworth’s Philosophic Song by Simon Jarvis is juxtaposing affective expressions of poetry and truth claimed by philosophy.

≠  Cast:-    Ludwig Wittgenstein

≠  Fit:–      Com(op)positionality

     Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of the most important key workers in the pataquerical zone of poetry. His Philosophical Investigation of how the language we use shapes how we perceive the things in our so called real world made the fundamental philosophical base of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E  as well as of the pataquerical poet Bernstein. When the audience is confused with the word “queer”, one of the three words (’PATAphysics + QUE(e)R + querY = PATAQUERY) in the heart of pataquericalism, whether to relate it with the conventional meaning of sexual orientation or not, the director has dismissed the sexual references: “in Wittgenstein’s time, queer would have meant gay, though he surely did not intend for that to be a coded reference to his putative homosexuality.” Entering from German to English language in the 16th century queer to mean strange, peculiar, eccentric, uncommon, anomalous, curious, odd, weird, or bizarre, altered, unexpected, to generate “a kind of aesthetic shock treatment or method of intoxication…to transform the queer instantiation of wordness from malady to melody.”

      Audience are always confused whether to place theory of philosophy and song of poetry in the same boat, but the director sees “the difference between philosophy and poetry in terms of genre and rhetoric, the claims to reason or knowledge or truth or impartiality (or claims to falsity, skepticism, uncertainty, affect), In other words I don’t see the distinction between truth claims, on the side of philosophy, and affective expressions, on the side of poetry; perversely, I am interested in affective expressions in philosophy and truth claims in poetry”[20] because “Every apple has a core, every horizon a philosophic song”

      The director Bernstein believes that the recent rise of elliptical and hybrid poetics is not a movement but a strategy in order “to contain disruptive and unruly ideological aesthetic challenges.” But the fact is that there is no escape from aesthetic ideology, despite of sworn superintendency of OVC “in their rejection of excess, dissidence, and oppositionality—that is, aversion of the three q’s: queered, quixotic, querulous,” the q’s forming the heart of the pataquericalism which always keeps conflict as their aesthetic quiver, and continuously explores all forms of existence inside the “dominated and dominatrix” environment of poetic culture. Bernstein is always interested in opposing easy assimilation of his poems in order to create a visceral experience in the poet-poem-reader triangle through composition; as if poem appears with a gesture where ‘opposing’ oscillating with ‘composing’ to create an aesthetic pleasure, that is to say com(op)position. Actually, thinking neutral space, “free of ideological domination or contamination” as “positivism” is a “ideological self-deceptive” thought because “it cannot open up to contradiction, difference, or dialectic, that is, to com(op)positionality.”


Scene1     Ziegfeld[21] Radio show of Midtown Manhattan, New York City. In the background screen Fanny Brice[22] with her obtrusive nose to visualize a Jewface, is performing Yiddish-accent shtick “Baby Snooks”. Fanny Brice’s song “I’m an Indian” (“O look at me I’m an Indian, that’s something that I never was before”) is reverberating as the background song with her pataquerical radio voice.

≠  Cast:-  Fanny Brice

≠  Fit:–   Passing

      The director Bernstein is explaining now the fit name “Passing”: “American culture is filled with both the desire to pass and a resistance to passing: to be absorbed by the dominant culture or to remake that culture. Assimilation is motivated as much by fear as by desire.” The director has chosen the Ziegfield star Fanny Brice as cast to exemplify the fit with her ethnic performance to characterize the twentieth-century American popular entertainment song to show their stigmatization by the dominant culture, where she used her “Yiddish accent to create an outrageously incongruous comic effect to her American immigrant rendition” of her song “I’m an Indian” and an universal socialist value in “The Song of the Sewing Machine”: “There is no song, there is no birds/ And God is just another word/ If you listen to the song of the sewing machine”.


Scene1   OVC’s convention hall, marked as containment zone by pataquerical poets because of its contamination with moral virus of language. The background screen is trying to visualize the “aspect blindness” through duck/rabbit figure. The background melody of “seeing as” in the voice of Wittgenstein is resonating in the hall to perform The Philosophical Investigation.[23]

≠  Cast:-

é      Superintendent Fenza is acting as D. W. Fenza, the executive director of Associate Writing Programs.

é    Graeae[24] acting as Helen Vendler, Charles Simic, and Walter Benn Michaels, three American reactionary poetry critics.

≠  Fit:– The prison house of official verse culture.

      Superintendent Fenza has entered into the dais of OVC’s convention hall to give his “Advice for Graduating MFA Students in Writing: The Words and the Bees.” In the reserved seats of the convention hall, the Graeae are sitting with a single eye in their hand, handed over by the Superintendent, to share between them, to act as critic for the pataquerical activities. But the pataquerical poet has the view that rather than sharing one eye, every eye should have three eyes within in it and especially the presence of the third eye to echo Indian philosophy; or in other words Jarryan pataphysical eye is required to perceive the imperceivable soul of pataquericalism. Both the superintendent and the Graeae are part of the nepohumanist alliance, coined by Bernstein, who stigmatizes ‘variation’ or ‘other’ as barbaric because ‘others’ are not “immediately intelligible”. The nepohumanist is a type of species to echo Nietzsche, “who want to make their species prevail, chiefly because they must prevail or else run the terrible danger of being exterminated. The favor, the super-abundance, the protection are there lacking under which variations are fostered; the species needs itself as species……and make itself permanent in constant struggle with rebellious.” Nepohumanist always exists in poetic world of official verse culture; but the ever-changing mysterious universe is also breeding ‘other’ type of species who stands tall with the promise of bent studies to say that the existing poetic morality is now ‘out of date’, and being committed to their “own law-giving, their own arts and artifices for self-preservation, self-elevation, and self-deliverance” to inquire aesthetically nothing but new ‘whys,’ nothing but new ‘hows.’

     Superintendent Fenza is presenting his lecture with a view that it is “morally repugnant” to question the merits of the literary prize system. In response to Fenza’s moral outrage the pataquerical poet is saying that “Immoral is boilerplate for a cold warrior; repugnant gives the remark its pataque(e)rical bona fides.” The melody of the background music “seeing as” is now blasted to the audience with Wittgenstein’s explosive term “aspect blindness” to refer to the duck/rabbit figure, as suggested by Wittgenstein in The Philosophical Investigation. The people sharing a single eye, like the Graeae, fails to have ambiguity in perception of an image which is important for “seeing as”, the aspect perception, to decipher different meanings, to acknowledge the possibility of ‘other’, to acknowledge infinite possibilities. That is why the Graeae shared a single view with a single eye, handed over from elsewhere, from some dedicated superintendent of official verse culture, “to dismiss formal innovation and promote cultural containment (one from many): not resistance via difference but assimilation via absorption”.


Scene1      French Doctor is sitting in a skiff, the self-made perpetually dry boat which can travel both in land and water, to refer to high-quality or excellence, a dry Jarryan joke, as skiff in French is an ace in cards. Presently he sets his journey to marvelous lands and islands with a monkey and In the background screen Alfred Jarry, the French protomodernist of late nineteenth century, is riding on a bicycle, for which he was unable to pay in his short life span of 34 years, presenting the etymology of his term pataphysics: “actual orthography of the term is ’Pataphysics, preceded by an apostrophe to avoid a simple pun”[25], pun in the sense patte à physique (physics paw) as suggested by Simon Watson Taylor, the translator of the neo-scientific novel Exploits and Opinions of Doctor Faustroll, Pataphysician by Alfred Jarry. The theatre hall is resonating with the background music of a monkey’s “ha ha”.

≠  Cast:-

’  The French Doctor is acting as Dr. Faustroll of the Jarry’s novel.

’  The monkey is acting as Bosse-De-Nage, the dog-faced monosyllabic baboon (so named because of the double protuberance of his cheeks), one of the attendants of Dr. Faustroll and acting as navigator of their journey. The etymology of this name given by the novelist as Nage means buttocks in old French, thus Bosse-De-Nage can mean bottom-face as Jarryan joke.

’  The attendant is acting as Rene-Lsidore Panmuphle, the lawyer, attached to the Civil Court in Paris and summoned Dr. Faustroll because of his failure to pay the rent of his house. Presently he is the pursuer and prisoner of Dr. Faustroll and has been tamed by drinks and chained to his seat and acting as oarsman and narrator for their journey.

≠  Fit:–         Anti–bachelor machines

     Dr. Faustroll is forced to leave his house due to failure of payment of its rent, and now exploring indefinitely renewed journey, an exploration into the imaginary world that exists between real and unreal, to echo Roger Shattuck, the introducer of the novel, “their peregrinations carry them to 14 lands or islands, whose topography and inhabitants are so described as to convey Jarry’s comments on 14 friends (or enemies) in the world of the arts”, to refer to the 27 books of Dr. Faustroll, seized from his house, which includes various writers like symbolist Baudelaire, Coleridge, Rimboud, Mallarmé, Verhaeren, Artaud, Apollinair, the forefather of cubism and surrealism, science-fiction writer Jules Verne, Jarry’s play Ubu Roi  etc, that make the basis of Jarry’s satire and irony of his artifices and science of absurdity. Here lies the root of this poetic journey to do a precarious querulous inquiry/probe into the work of all the Dramatis Personae, acting on the stage of this pataquerical fantasy.

    Dr Faustroll, the pataphysician of this hypothetical novel solves all problems with ’Pataphysics, coined and defined by Jarry as “the science of imaginary solution, which symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments”. It can also be viewed as the syzygy of words, the Jarryan term, where “a word must transfix a momentary conjunction or opposition of meanings” as per Roger Shattuck, to echo Bernstein “the odd or queer turn of phrase that might suggest a way of life.” It’s a paronym, a kind of pun in French, of Aristotelian Metaphysics. There is a clear caution from Jarry for the audience of this play house that ’Pataphysics should be taken as “the science of the particular, despite the common opinion that the only science is that of the general. ’Pataphysics will examine the laws governing exceptions, and will explain the universe supplementary to this one” to echo Bernstein’s poetics “it is the particular within the common” where “the common is not one thing (or one idea) believed by all but a shared space in which our individual differences converge without disappearing.” Here the ‘particular’ is to mean Jarry’s obscure desires, dreams to echo Roger Shattuck, “If mathematics is the dream of science, ubiquity (sic) the dream of morality, and poetry the dream of speech, ’Pataphysics fuses all into the “common sense” of Doctor Faustroll, who lives all dreams as one.” This ’Pataphysics makes the scientific base of “The Pataquerical Imagination”, a dream to go beyond the known to search for the unknown, the terra incognita of Eastern philosophy Zen, not in eternity but in unknown dimensions of “ethernity.” As one of the ladies among the casts has thrown a question over the meaning of “ethernity”, Doctor Faustroll has arrived on the stage to say that “Eternity appears to me in the image of immobile ether, which consequently is not luminiferous. I would describe luminiferous ether as circularly mobile and perishable. And I deduce from Aristotle (Treatise on the heavens) that it is appropriate to write ethernity.”

   If metaphysics is the science beyond physics, ’Pataphysics is the science beyond metaphysics. With the dynamic interplay between metaphysics, the “science” of abstraction and ’Pataphysics, the “science” of exception, not of general but of the particular, we could perceive the imperceivable scientific exceptions with abstractions. Roger Shattuck mentioned “many of Dr Faustroll’s action can be attributed equally to a God-like knowledge of the working of the universe and to an effervescent puckish enjoyment of life….asked if he is a Christian, Faustroll replies, I am God” or Panmuphle’s description of the Faustroll’s house where the cellar is submerged under a mixture of wine and spirits, without any presence of barrels or bottles- ironically pointing to the inaccessibility and harder-to-perceive Faustroll’s scientific reasons, an oscillation between science and philosophy that lies in “the realm of reason, a realm that goes beyond rationality but that is not irrational” to echo Bernstein. The absurdity, inaccessibility, imperceivablity of this “swerve-inducing science” of Jarry is one of the main characteristics of this pataquerical fantasy.

   In this part of the play, for the journey of Dr. Faustroll & company, the director Bernstein invented the fit, namely anti-bachelor machine: an apparatus, required for the construction process of pataquerics, coined by the punster director, to transform the visual-pun to verbal-pun, because the scientific root of the anti-bachelor machine lies in physics of abstract artwork by French-American painter/sculptor Marcel Duchamp’s famous sculpture The Large Glass, namely “Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even”. The philosophical root of the anti-bachelor machine connects to French author Jean-Jacques Lecercle’s term délire (delirium) in his book Philosophy through the Looking Glass: Language, Nonsense, Desire, where sense emerges out of nonsense or other way round, where délire is “an expression of possession, of loss of control by the subject, reverses the relation to mastery”[26] (of language), which can provide “imperceivable solutions to opaque problems”. These philosophic and scientific characteristics of pataquericalism explores a queer inquiry with ’Pataphysics into system, into reality, into innerself with a rhythmic oscillation between Yin and Yang, with an action through inaction in space-time of our ever changing universe, with quick pronunciation of Bosse-De-Nage’s pataphysical “ha ha” until the phrase becomes confounded, random, odd or queer, to deviate from the rationality in our n-dimensional reality of life, against the duality of mind and matter, good and evil, body and soul to reach to the quantum coherence of the pataquerical imagination.

Note.   Apart from the specific name of the casts used here, there are other performers like Countrymen, Soldiers, Professors, Poets, Gentlemen, Ladies, Officers, Murderers etc also performing actively but silently in this play through dynamic interaction with our paradoxical reality, through ambivalence between quark and antiquark of reality with our ever-changing relationships with the world, through “constant convening and reconvening of language”.


@@@Now then starting the actual play by Charles Bernstein@@@


The Pataquerical Imagination

Midrashic Antinomianism and the Promise of Bent Studies

A Fantasy in 140 Fits

Dramatis Personae

Edgar Allan Poe
Emily Dickinson
William Carlos Williams
William Blake
Hart Crane
Walt Whitman
Stéphane Mallarmé
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Fanny BriceSuperintendent Fenza & the Graeae[27]
Countrymen, Cadets, Soldiers, Monkeys, a French Doctor, Porters, an Old Man, Apparitions, Witches, Professors, Poets, Lords, Gentlemen, Ladies, Officers, Murderers, Attendants, and Messengers


La palabra más bella del idioma es extranjera
Bárbara o Barbara
Todos los hombres son mortales también el shock lender es
El concepto más bello de la lengua
Se lo digo a Usted, no a ellos
“Búsquense una nueva casi porque la vieja se está des”

The most beautiful word of the language is stranger
Barbaric or Barbara
All men are mortal the shock lender is also
The most beautiful concept of the mother tongue
We used to lend
I tell you, not them
“Look for a new almost because the old one is dis?”
Jorge Santiago Perednik, trans. Molly Weigel,
from The Shock of the Lenders

 Poetry after Auschwitz must indeed be barbarian; it must be foreign to the cultures that produce atrocities. As a result, the poet must assume a barbarian position, taking a creative, analytic, and often oppositional stance, occupying (and being occupied by) foreignness—by the barbarism of strangeness.
Lyn Hejinian, “Barbarism” (The Language of Inquiry)


STEHEN, im Schatten
des Wundenmals in der Luft.

TO STAND, in the shadow
of the stigma in the air.
Paul Celan, trans. Pierre Joris


Of the maimed, of the halt and the blind in the rain and the cold—
Of these shall my songs be fashioned, my tales be told.
John Masefield, “A Consecration”


I. [facsimile]

   A specter is haunting official verse culture—the specter of pataquericalism. All the forces have entered into a nepohumanist alliance to exorcise this specter: Associated Writing Programs and Pulitzer, New Yorker and New York Review of Books, elliptical lyricists and hybrid centrists.[28] Over the past two decades, the stranglehold of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Cold War scenic-voice poems has loosened under the pressure of the literary in(ter)ventions of  and its partisans to let a soupçon of flowers bloom in official verse culture greenhouses. The forms demonized a few decades ago are now embraced as a mark of new inclusiveness, a fair and balanced approach to poetry styles, marking not the end to poetic ideology but an indefinite cessation.

   It is high time that pataquericalists should openly, in the face of the whole poetry world, display their views, parade their aims, parody their tendencies, and meet this old husband’s tale of the specter of Bent Studies with a whoosh & higgly hoot & a he-ho-hah.

   The history of all hitherto existing poetry is the history of pataquerical struggles. Normal and perverse, highbred and vernacular, metered and unmetered, versed and averse, national and barbaric, couth and uncouth, proper and wrong, manly and unmanly, black and white, jew and goy, pigeon and sparrow, fancy and imagination, miscegenated and pure, assimilated and ideolectical, dominated and dominatrix—stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended either in a revolutionary reconstitution of poetry at large or in the triumph of the mediocracy. The modern necrohumane society that has sprouted from the ruins of the poetry wars has not done away with these antagonisms. It has established new hybrids, new conditions of normalcy, new forms of correctness in place of the old ones.


I told my wife the water is too shallow. She said, wait till you get to know it better.

III. Com(op)positionality

   In Wordsworth’s Philosophic Song, Simon Jarvis counters a corrosive assumption about ideological critique.[29] In The German Ideology, Jarvis reminds us, Marx takes to task the idealists known as Young Hegelians for their iconoclastic hubris: the assumption that by debunking false consciousness—idol smashing—they will free themselves from idols once and for all. The mistake of the Young Hegelians was to see debunking as an end in itself rather than as a part of a dialectical process of critique, to take an Emersonian rather than a Marxist swerve, a process that has no terminal point but, like a Klein bottle, doubles back on itself (or like sweaters at the old Klein’s department store, is always on sale at better price).

   The legacy of romanticism haunts the contemporary imagination of poetry. Romantic ideology, in Jerome McGann’s sense, underwrites the hegemonic ideology of postwar US poetics—that poetry, through its commitment to lyric sincerity (high lyric) and refined craft (high-bred) can be a universal expression of human sentiment.[30] Poetry, in its highest, and often dullest, forms, is able to transcend partisan bickering and divisive position taking. It is a bulwark against the inhuman tyrannies of hypernationalism, fascism, and Pol-Pot-Stalin-Mao-Tse-Tung thought: regimes of totalitarian violence that are an affront to humanity. Except that these monstrous irruptions are entirely human and define us as much as moral sentiment or ethical conduct.

   In our time, the dominant strain of official verse culture is defined by its presumption of being above the fray of special interests, bickering movements, and groups. The recent rise of elliptical and hybrid poetics is a case in point, for this is not a movement but a strategy to contain disruptive and unruly ideological and historical—which is to say aesthetic—challenges.[31] It is a poetics of assimilation and accommodation, and, as such, is very much in line with the traditional values of much American poetry and poetry criticism of the Cold War.

   There is no escape from aesthetic ideology, despite the fervent insistence of the fair and balanced idealists in their rejection of excess, dissidence, and oppositionality—that is, aversion of the three q’s: queered, quixotic, querulous. The repression of aesthetic ideology under the banner of convention, accessibility, compromise, refinement, or humanist literary values has the effect of naturalizing the idealists’ unacknowledged positions and group affiliations. This subliming fosters a poetry of capitulation and compromise whose telltale signs are often stylistic restraint and lyric self-regulation, which as an aesthetic position could be promising but in a humanist vacuum are merely proto-professional. This is the difference between craft and method, positivism and the dialogic, Christian universalism and Minute Particulars, homogenization and the syncretic.

   To imagine that there is a neutral space, a craft of poetry, that is free of ideological domination or contamination is positivism. In poetry culture, it is the most virulent form of ideological self-deception because it cannot open up to contradiction, difference, or dialectic, that is, to com(op)positionality.

   To transcend ideology, aesthetic partisanship, movement, groups, and positions is to be blinded by idolatry.

   A poetics is valuable to the degree that it is able to engender other positions in response, both complementary and oppositional. The cyclical triumphalism of postpartisanship in postwar US poetry, insofar as it intends to end the argument rather than foment it, is the most disingenuous form of position taking.

   This triumphalism mirrors, rather than counters, the avant-gardism of formalist progress, which eradicates the prior and the other almost as fast as it eradicates itself.

   Insofar as postpartisan cultural formations align themselves with the dominant forms of poetic practice, both more radical and more conventional at the same time, they will enjoy flickering moments of hegemony, having absorbed into their fold the insurgent counterhegemonic flows of the immediate past. But such postmodern turns in official verse culture can be successful only to the degree that they elide the most challenging and dynamic poetic innovations that are newly emerging or as yet unsettled (including ones that provoke bewilderment, disgust, hostility, and genre concerns). The degree to which the postmodern turn in official verse culture accommodates and contains the radical innovations of the recent past is the degree to which official verse culture is incapable of acknowledging the uncontainable inventions of the ever-actualizing, ever-shifting present.

   The task of bent studies is to move beyond the “experimental” to the untried, necessary, newly forming, provisional, inventive. Innovation resists maps. I want a poetics that rejects the historical avant-garde’s colonic high ground of single best solution but also rejects its dark twin, the bottom-feeding low ground of official verse culture’s lobotomization of poetic invention.

   Conflict is art’s quiver.

   The pseudoromantic idea of overcoming conflict, camps, antagonism, is the greatest provocation to partisanship. Indeed, the most aggressive position, most focused on dominance and control, is one that attempts to defeat conflict in theory, by fiat.

     The attempt to quell the poetic other is the ultimate provocation to write more poetry and write it otherwise.


Poetry’s best that settles (pleases, eases) least. [False.]

V.  Varieties of poetic experience

The dialectical possibilities for poetry involve multiple overlapping and discrete sites of activity:

  • the multilectical and multilingual
  • site-specific/fieldwork
  • appropriation via transcription, reframing, and resiting
  • web data mining
  • ec(h)opoetics—exploring a reciprocal relation between the human and nonhuman, world and earth, as well as a practice of mimicry and repetition within and across human cultures and languages
  • omnidirectional, homophonic, and heterosemantic translation, transcreation, and remediation, including transposition, resetting, and restaging across media platforms
  • constraint-based work
  • ESL (writing in English by those from non-English regions, via web-intensified global affinity clusters)
  • poetry in programmable media
  • sound/performance in/as recording (deformations/rearticulations of audio archive)
  • collaboration
  • syntactic involution

Along with these are newly emerging in the broad area of “bent poetics”:

  • disability and the defamiliar and imaginary body
  • identity formations as/in textual/sexual medium (queerencies)
  • nude formalisms (distressed metrics)
  • junk space
  • ambience
  • ideolect
  • sprung lyric
  • mixed/syncretic poetic genres
  • modularities
  • music/poetry
  • visual-art/poetry collaborations, book art


I like my poetry the way I like my fruitcake: nutty.

VII. The poetic principle

The tomb of Edgar Poe is the birthplace of pataquerics.

I love the irony that Poe’s poetics—Poe is, after all, an emblematic American writer (to use his term from “The Poetic Principle”)—remains largely unread, its aestheticism roundly rejected (“only this and nothing more”). “The Poetic Principle” (1848) is a founding document of the pataquerical line of American poetics.

I would define, in brief, the Poetry of words as The Rhythmical Creation of Beauty. Its sole arbiter is Taste. With the Intellect or with the Conscience, it has only collateral relations. Unless incidentally, it has no concern whatever either with Duty or with Truth.[32]

    Poe recognized early in American literary history that high-minded moral and didactic principles suffocate aesthetic creation, as a body buried alive, even in a coffin made of the finest Brazilian mahogany and lined with pages of Longfellow, slowly and painfully loses consciousness. Worse, aversion to transient and nonproductive sensation cripples ethical judgment, as a steady diet of stale bread not only takes away the taste for fresh goods but also makes the habitué of the desiccated contemptuous of flavor.

    In Poe’s lampooning of poems with superstructural import that rely on ideas rather than “Taste,” moreover that view taste and sensation with suspicion, he echoes William Carlos Williams’s formulation seventy-five years later, “Say It! No ideas but in things.”[33] Ironically, Williams would insert the relatively short multipart poem where his aphorism first appears—indeed he liked the aphorism so much he repeats it three times in that poem—into Paterson, his foray into the long poem form, which, to echo Poe, reads better as a series of short hits than as an epic.

    Poe’s deadpan insistence that the long poem does not exist rests on Zeno’s paradox by way of The Confidence Man. The logic is impeccable: no matter how much the long poem tries to make a whole greater than its parts, the parts, the “intense” “moments” of “excitement,” as he puts it in “The Poetic Principle” are “when”—not where—“the meanings are,” to quote Dickinson.[34] This is a poetics of temporal nowledge rather than atemporal knowledge.


They say you can’t be a little bit pregnant. So what’s this about extra virgin?

IX.  Only this and nothing more

—Say it, no ideas but in things—
nothing but the blank faces of the houses
and cylindrical trees
bent, forked by preconception and accident
split, furrowed, creases, mottled, stained
secret—into the body of the light—[35]

“Nothing but the blank”: while Williams is alluding to the bareness of winter, “nothing but the blank” is “the cry of its occasion / Part of the res itself and not about it” in Wallace Stevens’s famous formulation.[36] “Nothing but the blank,” as Williams goes on to evoke it, is the pataquerical sublime: bent, split, furrowed, creased, mottled, stained. The words reference themselves, mark their place in the poem, saying no more nor less than their bare enunciation. In “If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso,” Gertrude Stein fires a series of blanks with a “Now. / Not now. / And now. / Now.”[37] These nows and nots, which toggle presence and absence like a lovesick boy pulling at daisies, attain to a seriality that Poe, in “The Poetic Principle,” terms “brief and indeterminate glimpses,” as a strobe light makes a scene pulsingly vibrant with its flash moments of intoxicating intensity, what Emily Dickinson calls the “art” of stunning oneself with “Bolts of Melody.”[38]Poe writes against the viral didacticism of duty-bound poems. Is it a wild leap to see this quote as relevant to us now, or is that merely the error of an ahistorical rhapsode?

It has been assumed, tacitly and avowedly, directly and indirectly, that the ultimate object of all Poetry is Truth. Every poem, it is said, should inculcate a moral; and by this moral is the poetical merit of the work to be adjudged. We Americans especially have patronized this happy idea; and we Bostonians, very especially, have developed it in full. We have taken it into our heads that to write a poem simply for the poem’s sake, and to acknowledge such to have been our design, would be to confess ourselves radically wanting in the true poetic dignity and force:—but the simple fact is, that, would we but permit ourselves to look into our own souls we should immediately there discover that under the sun there neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified—more supremely noble than this very poem—this poem per se—this poem which is a poem and nothing more—this poem written solely for the poem’s sake.

“This poem which is a poem and nothing more”: “Only this and nothing more” is Poe’s better-known pronouncement, from a poem that wraps, rap, raps itself in kitsch to cast an indelible aesthetic spell.[39] “Only this and nothing more” marks its words’ being in time, scores their presence, the utterance of immediacy, phatic (but not vatic) haecceity. It is the motto, as Poe insists, of art for art’s sake, art without ulterior purpose, in and as its presence in sound, its immediate, present (gift) of rhythm and “nevermore” echo. Nothing/never: an echoic negation of all but the event of sound and rime as sublime and blank, full and empty, here / not here. The thing itself: “Nameless here for evermore”? A present absence, now / not now, the “shivering” (Poe’s word) making loss palpable.

Dare I name her? Lenore. A figure of speech, that is all.

(Craig Dworkin takes up some twentieth-century examples, such as John Cage’s “4′33″” in No Medium.)

“Le Corbeau dit: Jamais plus,” as they say in France, at least in the signal translations of Baudelaire and Mallarmé.Baudelaire translates: “Only this and nothing more” as “ce n’est que cela, et rien de plus,” while for Mallarmé the line becomes simply “cela seul et rien de plus.” In “Un coup de Dés” Mallarmé gives his own version of Poe’s insignia “cela seul et rien de plus” with silent insinuation: in the sixth spread, top left bottom right, mirrored, italic is “COMME SI”—as if—but also like so and like this, nothing more, marking a self-reflective “shivering delight” in the poem, if not to say in the echo, a perfect semblance of a mise en abyme.[40] Four spreads later, on the upper left, on its own, is “RIEN,” followed by a possible commentary on the crisis of its occasion (“de la mémorable crise / ou se fût / l’événement”). After all, what might seem to be the first word in “Coup de Dés,” at the top of the third spread, is the Raven’s echo:


Dickinson, the antinomian in Susan Howe’s account, hears it: “Nothing is the force / That renovates the World.”[41]


Farai un vers de dreyt nien.

(Will make a poem of pure nothingness)

Guillaume of Aquataine (11th century), trans. Pierre Joris[42]


Poetry is a weak thing and that is its strength.

A transcreation project has been taken up here for the essay “The Pataquerical Imagination: Midrashic Antinomianism and the Promise of Bent Studies”. This first part contains 11 sections of the essay. It will be continued in series. The transcreation part is included in the Bengali section of Ongshumali. The essay was included in Bernstein’s book Pitch of Poetry, published by University of Chicago Press, Chicago in 2016. Bernstein gives the history of this essay as, “A preliminary sketch of this essay, “Unsettling the Word,” was presented at “Tendencies: Poetics and Practice,” City University of New York Graduate Center, February 24, 2010, at the invitation of Trace Peterson, and “Rethinking Poetics,” Columbia University, June 11, 2010. Versions of the work were subsequently presented as the Lahey Lecture, Concordia University (Montreal), October 25, 2012; Yale English Department lectures, February 27, 2014; EPC’s twentieth-anniversary conference, September 12, 2014; and boundary 2’s “The Social Life of Poetic Language,” Dartmouth, May 22, 2015. The essay was completed in January 2015.” Pitch of Poetry “takes its title from Stanley Cavell’s The Pitch of Philosophy and so takes up the difference in the pitches of poetry and philosophy.”10 In the preface of the book Bernstein writes “Pitch is the sound of poetry. But pitch is also the attack or approach….. Pitch in the sense of register…. Pitch is the foul stain, the skank and stench of a viscous taint. The kind of poetry I want is when you can’t get the pitch out.”


About Poet:

Charles Bernstein (1950), an internationally known poet, theorist, polemicist, critic, lives in New York City, a leading voice in American poetry. He is the recipient of the 2019 Bollingen Prize for American Literature, for lifetime achievement and for Near/Miss. He attended the Bronx High School of Science and Harvard College, from which he graduated in 1972. He is married to the painter, Susan Bee, and has two children: Emma (1985-2008) and Felix. Bernstein is Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania. In 2006, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.  He is the co-founder and co-editor with Al Filreis, of PennSound; editor and co-founder, with Loss Pequenño Glazier, of The Electronic Poetry Center. He edited L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E journal with Bruce Andrews (1978-81). He authored more than 40 books: Poetry- Controlling Interests (1980), The Sophist (1987), Republics of Reality (2000), Girly Man  (2006), All the Whiskey in Heaven (2011), Recalculating (2013), Essays: My Way: Speeches and Poems ( 1999), Attack of the Difficult Poems (2011) to name a few. More information at writing.upenn.edu/authors/bernstein.


Bengali Version & Transcreation here >>>প্যাটাক্যুয়রিক্যাল নাইটশোয়ে আপনাকে স্বাগতম

[1] Midrashic- OED: Origin: A borrowing from Hebrew. Etymon: Hebrew miḏrāš. Etymology: < post-biblical Hebrew miḏrāš homiletic commentary on Scripture (in biblical Hebrew ‘study, exposition’) < Hebrew dāraš to seek, study, expound.

[2] Antinomianism- Etymology < Greek ἀντί against + νόμος law, an ism to believe that they are not bound by moral law, instead rejects laws or legalism and argues against moral, religious or social norms. The phrase Midrashic Antinomianism is coined by Charles Bernstein.

[3] Pitch of Poetry by Charles Bernstein. All quotation marks used here are from this book unless otherwise stated.

[4] Pharmakon from “Plato’s Pharmacy” by Jacques Derrida.

[5] Lecture on Nothing by John Cage

[6] “The Poetic Principle” by Edger Allen Poe

[7] The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad with the commentary of Sankaracharya and translated by Swami Madhavananda.

[8] Chandogya Upanishad-4-10-4

[9] From the poem “Un coup de Dés” (A through of the Dice) by Stéphane Mallarmé

[10] WFH – Work From Home

[11] The Human Abstract by Elizabeth Willis, published by Penguin in 1995 and selected for American Poetry Series.

[12] Bridgeable Lines: An Anthology of Borderless World Poetry in Bengali – An anthology with Interviews & transcreation of poems of 12 American poets, coedited & transcreated by Runa Bandyopadhyay and Aritra Sanyal, published by Aihik (Earthly) in 43rd Kolkata International Bookfair in 2019.

[13] Animalady might be defined, provisionally, as the human malady of being and resisting being animal. The word is coined by Charles Bernstein, “Close Listening” in My Way: Speeches and Poems by Charles Bernstein.

[14] Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche.

[15] Near/Miss by Charles Bernstein

[16] Whitman, “Respondez!”: 1867 version of “Poem of the Propositions of Nakedness” in the 1856 Leaves of Grass, www.whitmanarchive.org/published/LG/1867/poems/126. See Vaclav Paris’s essay on this poem in Arizona Quarterly Review 69, no. 3 (Autumn 2013).

[17] Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions by Charles Bernstein

[18] TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism by Hakim Bay.

[19] OVC- Official Verse Culture, coined by Charles Bernstein

[20] “Too Philosophical for a Poet”: A Conversation with Charles Bernstein by Andrew  David King. https://read.dukeupress.edu/boundary-2/article/44/3/17/129292/Too-Philosophical-for-a-Poet-A-Conversation-with

[21] Ziegfeld Follies, started by  Florenz Edward Ziegfeld Jr., an American Broadway impresario, inspired by the Folies Bergère, an opera house in Paris.

[22] Fania Borach (1891–1951), known professionally as Fanny Brice , was an American illustrated song model, comedienne, singer, and theater and film actress who made many stage, radio, and film appearances. She was a posthumous recipient of a Grammy Hall of Fame Award for her 1921 recording of “My Man”.

[23] The Philosophical Investigation by Ludwig Wittgenstein

[24] Graeae – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graeae

[25] Exploits and Opinions of Doctor Faustroll, Pataphysician by Alfred Jarry

[26] Philosophy through the Looking Glass: Language, Nonsense, Desire by Jean-Jacques Lecercle’s

[27] In this production played by Helen Vendler, Charles Simic, and Walter Benn Michaels.

[28]Nepohumanism (also called necrohumanism and hypohumanism), coined by Charles Bernstein, universalizes one’s immediate preferences while stigmatizing as barbaric those that are not immediately intelligible.

[29] Simon Jarvis, Wordsworth’s Philosophic Song (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

[30] Jerome McGann, Romantic Ideology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983). See “McGann Agonist” in Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions.

[31] See American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry, ed. David St. John and Cole Swensen (New York: W. W. Norton, 2009) and Stephen Burt, review of Susan Wheeler’s Smokes, Boston Review 23, no. 3 (September 1998); American Letters & Commentary,no. 11, “The Elliptical Poets” feature (2007). See also Craig Dworkin, “Hypermnesia,” and Brian Reed, “Grammar Trouble,” in “American Poetry after 1975,” a special issue of boundary 2 that I edited (36, no. 3 [Fall 2009]).

[32] Edgar A. Poe, “The Poetic Principle,” www.eapoe.org/works/essays/poetprnb.htm. See Jerome McGann’s The Poet Edgar Allan Poe: Alien Angel (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014), which restores Poe to his foundational role for American, and nineteenth-century, poetics; McGann’s breathtaking scholarship makes Poe’s work thrillingly present and hauntingly prescient.

[33] William Carlos Williams, “Paterson,” in Collected Poems, vol. 1, ed. A. Walton Litz and Christopher MacGowan (New York: New Directions, 1986),263–66.

[34]The Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. T. H. Johnson (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1955), no. 258, 1:185. I discuss a variant reading of this poem below.

[35] Williams, “Paterson,” 263, 265; p. 266 (the final lines) quoted below.

[36] Wallace Stevens, “An Ordinary Evening in New Haven,” XII: “The poem is the cry of its occasion, / Part of the res itself and not about it.”

[37] Gertrude Stein, “If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso” (1923), EPC Digital Library, writing.upenn.edu/library/Stein-Gertrude_If-I-Told-Him_1923.html.

[38]Poems of Emily Dickinson, no. 505, 2:387–88. I discuss this poem in “Artifice of Absorption,” in A Poetics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992). Poe’s “brief and indeterminate glimpses” has a tenuous connection to Walter Benjamin’s observation, in “Über den Begriff der Geschichte” (On the concept of history), that memories, like pictures of history, occur in flashes: “Das wahre Bild der Vergangenheit huscht vorbei. Nur als Bild, das auf Nimmerwiedersehen im Augenblick seiner Erkennbarkeit eben aufblitzt, ist die Vergangenheit festzuhalten” (The true picture of the past darts by. Like a picture that is never seen again in its instant of recognizability, the past is recorded when, precisely, it flashes up). Illuminationen: Ausgewählte Schriften (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1974), Bd.1, S. 25–26.

[39] See Robin Seguy’s digital edition of “The Raven” interwoven with the translations of Baudelaire and Mallarmé atwww.text-works.org/Texts/Poe/Raven_data/RavenEdNote.xhtml. .

[40] This is my son Felix’s current favorite term. Once you start to see them, they multiply like rabbits.

[41]Poems of Emily Dickinson, no. 1563, 3:1077. I discuss this poem in “The Wolf Interview” with Stephen Ross, in this collection.

[42] Pierre Joris, “The Work of Al-Ishhk,” in Poasis: Poems 1986–1999 (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2001), 27.

Bengali Version & Transcreation here >>> প্যাটাক্যুয়রিক্যাল নাইটশোয়ে আপনাকে স্বাগতম

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Runa Bandyopadhyay, a bilingual poet, essayist, translator and critiqueer in the New Poetry world of Bengal, India, a scientist by profession, but fully addicted to innovative experimental literature. As a critiqueer she invented a new genre in 'recurring poetry' and...

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