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Judd Morrissey, The Jew’s Daughter

You can leave comments here for The Jew’s Daughter. Here’s a bit to start you off:

Morrissey..explored the subject of textual context and reconfiguration in The Jew’s Daughter, a work in which rolling over active words changes passages of text on the same screen, as opposed to prompting a change of screen. The screen stays while the text changes, embodying Michael Joyce’s notion that “electronic text replaces itself.” Shifting the content’s context destabilizes the act and process of reading. The reader of The Jew’s Daughter learns to expect disorientation within the words themselves. To extract a quote from The Jew’s Daughter, and thus to participate in decontextualizing content: “Things seek realization in new configurations” (screen 221).

From The Iowa Review, “The Very Essence of Poetry” by Jessica Pressman.

Individual Presentations

Following are the individual assignments for class presentations over the next month. Please do a “walk through” of your 2-3 pieces and have a few discussion questions ready. This should all take 10-15 minutes; it’s very informal, merely a way to expose ourselves to lots of different work.

April 4

Lisa Oliver

Andrew Fox

Daniel Cannizzaro

April 11

Jason French

Scott Kolp

Adam White

April 18

Raphael Lee

Daniel Byers

William Durette

April 25

Alice Liu

Elliott Breece

Joshua Spechler

The Medium is the Massage


I couldn’t find anything too provocative on the web for this one, so this is from Wikipedia:

While today it looks like a black and white copy of Wired magazine, and its prose reads more or less like boilerplate for any of the heady techno-utopian pronouncements of the 1990s, it should be noted that it presaged the development of the original ARPANET by two years, and preceded the widespread civilian use of the Internet by almost twenty. For this and other reasons McLuhan is often given the moniker “prophet.”

Go to town…

Jeffrey Jones, 70 Scenes of Halloween


The following is from the Village Voice review of the original production of 70 Scenes of Halloween in 1980:

Jones’s deadpan farce with intellectual aspirations ends long after it should, but on the other hand it could end anywhere. Time in the play is out of joint, non-continuous, as fragmented as a series of television programs. It does not flow forward with the certainly of out-and-out narrative; events follow one another in a series of near repetitions, so that you feel they are overlapping.

Unlike most plays, 70 Scenes does not seem to be taking place in time at all, but in space. It is as if each scene were a discrete sketch traced onto the thinnest of translucent paper, and then all 70 of the tracings were juxtaposed one on top of the other in order to create a complex, multilayered drawing in which the lines were sometimes a little fuzzy but the total image was deep and singular and memorable.

It is also possible to interpret the play with old fashioned Freudian tools. Then you would say that the Beast and the Witch personified the sexual underminds of Jeff and Joan, although I would prefer them to remain the separate creatures they so palpably are on stage.

Although he gently needles them, Jones seems to have an affection for the characters he created. One thing I take him to be saying is this: In a sexual age which rightly relegates D. H. Lawrence to a dim time of prerevolution, the dominion of the libido is finally populated with likable citizens.

Jopes’ website has complete editions of other plays of his, as well as his provocative manifesto against mainstream drama, “Geezer Theater”:

Christian Bok’s Eunoia

Here’s a little teaser review to start off from the website MadInkBeard:

Eunoia is probably best served read aloud, the assonance and rhyme are more clearly heard, but it is also interesting visually as text. The repetitive vowels make the page appear strange, abnormal. Chapter O is round while Chapter I is sharp.

As narrative the chapters aren’t all equally interesting. The retelling of the Iliad in Chapter E goes on a little too long, while Chapter O holds no real coherence at all, semantically. These failings are made up for with the inherent interest of the linguistic acrobatics and the sonorous writing. “Eunoia” is a unique work, of a different order than Perec’s similar texts (his “Les Revenentes” and “What a Man”), and a great example of what a constraint can do for linguistic virtuosity, if not necessarily for rich narrative.

In this case, the very difficult constraint perhaps limits a little too much what can be said. Personally I do get more pleasure from a text that is narratively interesting and less constrained (a fine balance).

The creator of this site also has some interesting conceptual stuff on there, such as pictureless comics.

Robert Coover’s “The Babysitter”

Here’s the post where you can leave your comments. I just read this in a book about Coover that I thought could get you started – do you agree with these statement or not?

Thomas E. Kennedy in Robert Coover: a study of the short fiction (pp. 64-67) writes:

[Richard] Anderson finds this story technically fascinating but… lacking in human emotion and thus in literary merit. [However,] “The Babysitter” certainly does deal with human emotion–with fear and delight, with idle desire and raw lust, and with the entire range of tamed yearnings that seethe beneath the narcotized surface of suburban life. The story enacts a flushing out of fear and of fictions (“mythic residue”), a turning of the suburban stone to reveal the teeming fictions of the quotidian.


The reality here is everything, the sum total of it all–that which happens, that which is only imagined, that which is watched, wished for, dreamed, planned, enacted, felt, and thought; a great internal-external spiral, half-real/half-imagined, is certainly not realism, but the reality that realism conceals in the interest of literary convention.

BTW, it seems that I have to approve your first comment, and then after that, you can comment without my approval. So your comment won’t appear immediately this first time, only after I have read it.

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