III

Anti-Poetry

 

A Truth in art is that whose contradictory is also true. - Oscar Wilde

These experiments shrug off the Romantic myths of creative genius and originality by rewriting great works antonymically to produce new works.

These works include antitheses of Ginsberg's 'Howl', Shakespeare's Sonnets, Walt Whitman's 'The Sleepers' and Dorothy Parker. While not antithetical, a contemporary rendition of Swift's 'Modest Proposal' suggesting illegal immigrants be used as a food supply can be found on Smashwords.

This method often yields extraordinary lines which cannot be said to be the work either of the original author or the reworker. From rewriting we can rewrite rewritings ad infinitum. This derivative writing must be understood as a 'reading' of other's works - collapsing the distinction between reading and writing, writer and author. This draws attention the workings of language more generally where our own words can only ever be others' words re-purposed, where one's point of view presupposes contradictory points of view which define it by contrast.