Before announcing the death of poetry, look at the numbers. Poems circulate widely in U.S. popular culture.
The subject of my inaugural Arcade post is another new project that I’m undertaking: a study of Victorian religious novels published in the 1880s.
Some comments here, and also off-list, helped me think further about these issues.
Nauman walks the walk. Slow Angle Walk (Beckett Walk) (1968) does the work of envisioning Watt’s “way of advancing” for you. I have cast Beckett’s description of Watt’s walk as creating a series of imperatives for the reader: you have to envision Watt’s “way of advancing,” then you have to edit that vision to account for unbending knees and feet, then again for position of head and arms. But really, it’s your prerogative (cue Bobby Brown).
One of the challenges of reading the works of Samuel Beckett, novelist, versus seeing the works of Samuel Beckett, dramatist, is, in fact, seeing. Or envisioning what you’re reading. Bruce Nauman’s film, Slow Angle Walk (Beckett Walk) (1968), both reminded and relieved me of that difficulty.
The current show at apexart, a non-profit contemporary art gallery in New York, is made for readers. In part because it’s made of readings. The show is small. There are more words in its title—You can’t get there from here but you can get here from there—than there are works in the show.