The following excerpts from an essay, “Ron Padgett and the Postmodern Sublime“:
The comedy and imagination of a poet like Ron Padgett represents not an answer to whatever it is that is the postmodern condition, but a possible means of survival. And though I’m as tired of the term postmodernism as the next guy, I’m using it frequently here as a loosely historical period because I believe that Padgett is an historical poet, one for the books, as they say. This is also to say I want to speak in the language of a critic about a poet who deserves more criticism in my opinion than he has been afforded. …
The unattainable, or the not yet attained, plays a significant role in the postmodern sublime in that it is structurally similar to the fetish, in which the end goal or Idea is not ultimately what is desired but rather the constancy of being near that threshold. The postmodern sublime represents a moment when the end goal is no longer sought out, when Lacan’s objet a is momentarily forgotten. …
So, if Padgett is to put anything together, it will be on his own strange and bizarre terms. His project is not all-out fragmentation, but instead a way to deal with the parts of a world without having to arrange them in any perfect way.
–Excerpts from “Ron Padgett and the Postmodern Sublime” by Clay Matthews in H_NGM_N
Aggh, did I just hear a brand new Modest Mouse song on WFUV? Where’s my “notification”, Brian?
Responses to “Put Your Finger On It: Mercurial Humor”
Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and is co-editing with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edited the anthology Bettering American Poetry 2015 and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.