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ColoradoGuy
05-27-2008, 02:23 AM
I read over on the Bookslut blog that some people appear to be more than a little annoyed over the recent poetic fad/movement/whatever of flarf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flarf_poetry), which often consists of send-ups of Google searches. The result is a kind of verbal collage. Apparently the Dickenson English department succeeded in denying tenure (http://garysullivan.blogspot.com/2008/05/dickinson-psych-professor-denied-tenure.html) to a psychology professor and flarf enthusiast.

As a former academician myself I'm less interested in the typically weird academic politics involved than in the flarf movement (if that's the proper term), which reminds me a little of Andy Warhol's efforts.

Any flarfists out there who think this is the Next Big Thing in literature, or is the point that there ought not to be a Next Big Thing? Apparently the thing began as a spoof of poetry.com (http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/bernstein/syllabi/readings/flarf.html), which is funny in itself.

Matera the Mad
05-27-2008, 03:04 AM
I'm just a little ticked that they are using a word I invented...I guess it shows how useless the concept of originality can be. At least the meaning is close. Most Big Things are flarf. :tongue

Aglaia
05-30-2008, 12:00 AM
I hadn't heard of this movement until you introduced the topic here, ColoradoGuy, so thanks! The Wikipedia "definition" strikes me as really dichotomous. On the one hand, it seems to characterize it as nothing more than a joke, but on the other, I got an underlying sense of flarf as something that could (does?) represent our culture in a way that traditional poetry doesn't.

My curiosity piqued, I went on a hunt for some actual flarf poetry to read and decide for myself. I searched and searched, and damn, it was hard to find! :cry:

Turns out, people like to talk and bitch and moan about this stuff without actually reading it. Gets more interesting by the minute...

But ah, success! :hooray: I finally found some! I paste a link here to two flarf poems that rather blew my mind. I'm sure not all are so good, and I'm sure not everyone will react as I did. But I'm on the flarf bandwagon now.

"A Vindication of the Rights of Women (http://jacketmagazine.com/30/fl-boyer.html)" by Anne Boyer

"No One Cares Much What Happens to You (http://jacketmagazine.com/30/fl-degent.html)" by Katie Degentesh
(2nd one down)
(Note: This is one of those that used internet search engines to generate, seriously!)

ColoradoGuy
05-30-2008, 01:10 AM
I like these lines from your second example:

"no matter how public it all seems
there’s a forced casualness to this conversation"

I wonder what search terms those lines came from.

Aglaia
05-30-2008, 05:29 PM
I'm particularly interested in Degentesh. However, this review (http://www.believermag.com/issues/200704/?read=review_degentesh) of her book The Anger Scale (from which the poems in the link were taken) makes it seem like her poetry is just flarf in the right hands. Maybe I just stumbled across some of the good stuff and missed the bad? I find the whole thing very odd. At any rate, I think I'll buy the book. :Shrug:

Higgins
05-30-2008, 09:16 PM
I like these lines from your second example:

"no matter how public it all seems
there’s a forced casualness to this conversation"

I wonder what search terms those lines came from.


I'm particularly interested in Degentesh. However, this review (http://www.believermag.com/issues/200704/?read=review_degentesh) of her book The Anger Scale (from which the poems in the link were taken) makes it seem like her poetry is just flarf in the right hands. Maybe I just stumbled across some of the good stuff and missed the bad? I find the whole thing very odd. At any rate, I think I'll buy the book. :Shrug:

Wow! Many thanks for this topic and the poems!

Good stuff.