Monday, 12 July 2010

Talk to the Hand

The avant-garde allergy to criticism, honest self-evaluation and peer dissent (something I've long complained about, especially in my cage match with Christian) is getting a real airing over at Vox Populism (see comments). I thought I would never see the day. Here's a taste from Paul Vermeersch:

"I would like to see a critical vocabulary that allows for so-called “avant garde” texts to be honestly and qualitatively evaluated. Certainly not every “avant garde” text written in Canada (or anywhere else for that matter) is “good”, but I have honestly never heard anyone who self-identifies as belonging to the “avant garde” tradition call anything “bad” that didn’t belong to a recognizably different tradition. And before this is thrown back at me, I will go on record as saying yes, a great deal of poetry written in other traditions is bad. Most of the poetry ever written is bad. I admit it is bad, and I can tell you exactly why it’s bad. But can the “avant garde” do the same?"

More here.

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