Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Experimental Prose: Workshop Notes

Classroom Table, Upaya North: Flowers, Grasses, Pen


It is always a setting.  Pre-cursors: you will arrive.  You will fall asleep.  You will read this.  In reverse order.


Tomorrow: the plan is: this:

1.  In small groups: to present [perform] your texts to [for] your group, including your process letter: how this text: became: a text: in time.  Talk to your group about how you came to the page, then read.

2.  As each person reads aloud, note directly on their text where -- tonal/non-verbal/emphasis/glitches/dark-brightness: happened.  Where the red was.  Where the sensation was: both in the voice of the reader and its correlate: your own body.  Nervous system entanglement: reading/writing/listening.  But what I want you to map: are: the nodes.  This is an epidemiology.  The thing that precedes everything else in a society: a society, that is, that understands it cannot go on as it has.  That it must change.  That it must transform its relationship to its subjects and offices.  I learned this at the third world congress of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry.  In Vancouver, Gail Scott said she was very interested, too, in cross-cultural psychiatry as a frame for experimental prose.

3.  Go through each person in turn and after each person, you could reflect, perhaps, on what was "nodal."

4. Then, complete a written response to each person in your group.  This response should include:

a) A structural reflection.

Without judgement.  Without pleasure or pain.  Here, you are describing the space that has opened up in the work.  Perhaps it is a territory that the writer also writes to, directly.  But there is also a way that space [site] is made from: concepts.  The vibration of concepts that come near to each other.  So that part of describing a space is to say what is in proximity.  What is touching what.  Samuel Delaney: "I want to write something that touches itself everywhere at once."  The fold, as we spoke of last class.  Please work on this in the structural reflection: a vertical, triplicate mapping of:




What would make it vertical, perhaps, would be your further tracking of: where these elements: intersect: and with such force: that an inky indigo dye is leaked into the grid.  Or perhaps there is a way to make this happen [to track, for the writer, what is almost intersecting in this way or could] and to think about what would, then  -- unguent, rhythm, a political action, color/saturation -- be released.

b) Notes toward a figure.

Is there a presence/body/figure/entity in this piece?  Describe the vector this "body"/figure takes.  Notes on encounter.  Here, perhaps, if there is not -- at this stage -- an encounter -- [the potential for intimacy/aversion/the interruption of a singular progression] -- then you could suggest: a way to prompt this, within the world of the piece you are looking at.  I am thinking of the Laird Hunt piece from last time: the capacity of the swimming pool to be lit from beneath with lanterns.  So that a figure, let's say, can enter into another space or world within the text -- and here, what happens?  Perhaps this last part is not up to us.  But you can speak back to the writer about thresholds in the work -- blanknesses -- that might be opened up or renovated, to think through space again -- which is architecture -- and in this way, transform what is happening for: the body: as it is: in the text.

c) The frame.

Here, we are taking up the charge of "experimental" in  experimental prose.  Last class was so amazing because I felt that charge move through you and through me with you and you with each other.  And so: how can we reflect upon the strategies -- Gladman/Rice/Hunt -- that we've looked at so far -- class notes and propagations: to return: to the writer: radical [monstrous] suggestions to work with: form/frame/structure.  Suggestions that, once again, STEM from the biology of the page in front of you but also: the NODES you tracked when you heard the work read aloud.  How to exaggerate/amplify those nodes, which are gestures -- and thus reach towards the monster.  Last week, monster entered the lexicon of our class and so that is why I am saying monster.  Also, what are "suggestions"?  They can be craft related, or they can be ideas about something to research further, or even brainstorming, a way to say what you glimpse, deep inside this world you did not create?  Reader as alien life-form operating with utmost compassion.


Homework: Integrate the feedback.  Select/refuse.  Decide.  Write a letter documenting your aversion/pleasure index for TEXT 3 revision cycle.  What worked for you in revising this one?  What are you glimpsing about what: prose: could be?  For you.  What are you taking up in your work?  What is HAPPENING?  What do you still need help with?  What are the challenges?  Submit one copy to me next week, of any length, with process letter attached.