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Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Stupidest Thing

Robert Archambeau on 'the stupidest thing Ron Silliman has ever said' deserves a link. It's a thoughtful post about why referring to things the reader hasn't heard of may not, after all, when you think about it, be 'fascist'.


Mark Granier said...

I'm not sure it's even "probably" the dumbest thing Silliman has ever said, since he isn't coming right out and 'saying' anything. He endorses Knott's endorsement of Smith by means of a slippery double negative guarded by parenthesis; a 'gated' statement, at four removes. But yes, your bullshit detector is accurate; that moronic label, 'fascist', springs out of the text like a stiff-armed salute. Silliman's caution is worth noting; he is probably clever enough to know he is committing an abuse of language, but can't help himself: another opportunity for a juicy snipe at the big dogs.

Funny thing is, the main thrust of that argument (that poets like Hill and Schnackenberg are deliberately trying to make readers feel stupid) could more justly be applied to much of Silliman's beloved post-advance-rear-guard stuff: langpo etc. Another reason, perhaps, why Silliman isn't actually making that argument, but hiding behind the trousers of Knott and Smith and sticking out his tongue (which he can always claim was in his cheek).

Mark Granier said...

BTW by "your bullshit detector" I meant Robert Archambeau's.