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Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century
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Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  10 reviews

What is the place of individual genius in a global world of hyper-information— a world in which, as Walter Benjamin predicted more than seventy years ago, everyone is potentially an author? For poets in such a climate, "originality" begins to take a back seat to what can be done with other people’s words—framing, citing, recycling, and otherwise mediating available words a

Hardcover, 232 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by University Of Chicago Press
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Joe Milazzo
Perloff's "readings" of Bernstein and Howe especially can come off as rather specious; they depend far too much on paratextual considerations... but, then again, such readings may be a demonstration of how procedural / citational / conceptual aesthetics must be "handled"... but, once more again, as Perloff notes in her reading of Goldsmith's various projects, reading against the grain of his clearly stated authorial intent yields both pleasures and notions otherwise precluded by the constraints ...more
Chris Schaeffer
Read in a frenzy in the living room finishing at, like, three in the morning! Really interesting reading of Goldsmith's 'Traffic,' great pokes into translation theory.
Jee Koh
From the point of view of this skeptical non-reader of avant-garde poetry, Perloff's book is an excellent introduction to the New Poetics of the twenty-first century. The new poetry, according to Perloff, is the poetry of citation and appropriation, a poetry that confronts the present-day challenge of managing, presenting and reframing the information so readily and abundantly available through the new technologies such as the Internet. Older poetry cited and appropriated too, but, Perloff argue ...more
Dean Kritikos
This is, above all else, a disarticulation of the pairing "Original genius." While those two words meant the same thing, to many people and for many years, the (or perhaps A) New Poetry of our new century has no place for "originality," but plenty of room for "genius" and "geniuses."

An absolutely exhilarating read, I would have finished this in one sitting had I not (foolishly) begun it at midnight, having to wake up at 6 AM. I split it in two, sacrificing some sleep but gaining in dreams noneth
Alejandro Morales
This is an essential book to understand the contemporary state of poetry, in which there is no such thing as innovation or new or original, but writing as such, taking count of a whole past of writings and ideas. So, it's true that "there's nothing new under the sun". A recommended essay with a bunch of solid quotes about the analyzed subject.
Perloff explains the phenomena of appropriation and (un)originality in American English literature. As always she enlightens the path towards contemporary poets. However, being a Latin American Literature researcher, I am not so sure that her approach towards Brazilian Concretismo achieves the same high quality and standards as her texts on Goldsmith and Bernstein do.
Anyhow this book is a must for anyone into poetry, particularly contemporary poetry.
Instructive but not as much as I thought it would be. "Cool, cool, cool-cool-cool."
Unoriginal. Genius. Perloff never misses a beat.
stealing stuff has always been okay thanks to wilde and eliot but i guess i need more affirmation and marjorie is a great shrink for literary thieves! the chapters on ken goldsmith's traffic and walter benjamin's arcade project are great, certainly give you all the ammunition you need to blow off those stupid amazon reviewers who still hanker for 'the original voice of the author'! blah gimme colonel sanders' original recipe instead!
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