Friday, March 16, 2012

Notes for a future po-et[h]ics

Here are notes from an early morning conversation with someone about the continuing reflection on poetics (Apparently, the process of reflection is not yet complete, notwithstanding the paper I submitted last Wednesday):

1. Reading list: life.after.theory (Derrida, Moi); Escobar; Spivak; Foucault; Habermas; Butler; Kristeva; B. Anderson; Authentic, not Exotic; J. Neil Garcia dissertation; maybe: all those fiction theses/poetics essays by Chinese-Filipino students)

2. If poetry: Identity/Performance (as Filipino, as other); Why Ms. Bracken

3. If fiction: Reading people/text,  narratives (of power); Form/style of story texts; Freedom/agency vis-a-vis text; inherent goodness of thinking subject [?]; writing in two modes--slipstream/realist; what it means to write in a particular 'style'

4. Cognition as binary and the possibility of/conditions for imagination; imagination as an act of faith/hope?

5. Self/textual awareness in Philippine society (or lack thereof); the contribution of literature; aesth/et[h]ics

He said I was funny. And that I was a "self-nerd". :( I think what he meant was, masalimuot ang aking pag-iisip. As neeneroodles puts it: Oh well, papel. It is what it is.

I'm thinking seriously about the final project, because I intend to finish everything by 2013. And if I want to make my life manageable, a huge chunk of the thinking and writing ought to be accomplished this (the first) summer.

If anyone would like to suggest further readings, given the concerns listed above, you're more than welcome to do so. :) And I will reward you with hugs and cupcake. :D


  1. I'm a self-nerd, too, but I'm not sure how to start giving you more suggestions, because I think I might be unduly imposing my own background on the terms you use here. So I'm just going to follow what you say here and on Twitter as you travel along the path towards conceptualizing your final project. I had to do that myself with my own blog (I tried tagging the relevant entries as "thesis," until I realized everything I was writing there was related to it.)

    If you still want to know what I was thinking:

    the "aesth/et[h]ics" bit reminded me of Joan Retallack's The Poethical Wager, but I'm not sure you want to go there, unless of course it's to explore complexity and Cage-like conceptual work)

    the recurrence of what seems like the question of identity (racial, sexual, cultural) in a post-structuralist world reminds me of Angela McRobbie's "Feminism, Postmodernism, and the 'Real Me'" and, distantly, Chandra Talpade Mohanty's "Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses, though you may also need something diasporic, what with the Filipino-Chinese thing going on

    I've spent so much time thinking about Foucault and power that I don't know where to start; I suspect it might not be directly Foucault but a Foucauldian take on literature that might help you. I've never turned up a copy of Simon During's Foucault and Literature: Towards a Genealogy of Writing, but that MIGHT be worth exploring.

  2. Hi A! Thanks for this. Wouldn't During's book be in the super secret stash of reserved books under Louie David's name in the ADMU library? *will check* Some 15 years ago I took 9 units of Philo MA--Derrida, Foucault, and Adv. Metaphysics, and my undergrad thesis was on Habermas--therefore their presence in the reading list. I'm familiar with them; they have, for better or worse, influenced the way I see things. In re aesth/ethics will need to look that up, because I use it in a particular way and it has to square with how it's used in current literature (I know it's being used differently). And as for the Chinese-Filipino thing--well, that's how "I'm" read, as opposed to who "I" actually perform as (Filipino), so maybe not so much of the diaspora. Maybe. But definitely the McRobbie and Mohanty readings look interesting.

    Seems like will need to do a fiction project, instead of poetry (less developed, thinking-wise). And it looks like I will be focusing on when/why I do fiction in the speculative and realist modes.

    I think it was a good idea for me to have taken the poetics course early, as it made me think about my concerns, and make a provisional link toward the style/mode I seem to use in the writing of the texts.

    Does this make any sense at all? :P Will look up the readings at ADMU library and online! Thanks, A. Hope to meet you soon. :)