Public Lectures: Friday, January 5
In Canon Lounge, Gladfelter
Friday, January 5 ALAN WILLIAMSON: Center and Circumference:
9:30 AM The Modernist Long Poem
Though now an all-but-extinct genre, the Modernist long poem was one of the high points of literary ambition in the Twentieth Century. It was omnivorous, attempting, by methods akin to collage in modern painting, to include the poet’s entire circumambient world. And the fluidity or elusiveness of the central point of view, amid multiple narrators, could suggest a larger mode of selfhood, constituted by the totality of one’s relations. We will be looking at the opening sections of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Robert Hayden’s “Middle Passage,” Hart Crane’s The Bridge, and William Carlos Williams’s Paterson.
Friday, January 5 MICHAEL PARKER: The Big I.F. : Imitative Fallacy
10:45 AM and Structural Integrity
Most, if not all, of what we write about–love, grief, familial bonds, cultural and political forces, “madness,” the imagination, consciousness itself— tends toward chaos, ambiguity and irresolution. It is our charge to represent, via narrative rhythm, that chaos while employing technical means to frame and find order in it. The imitative fallacy occurs when we merely mimic the chaos without employing formal order, leaving the reader more confused than satisfied. This lecture will discuss why the imitative fallacy is something we should always risk in our attempt to capture the rhythm of experience, but never commit. We will focus on ways in which it is (narrowly but powerfully) avoided (and sometimes not) in works including Wright Morris’ The Works of Love, Danielle Dutton’s Sprawl, and Brian Eno’s glorious deconstruction of Pachelbel’s Canon, with passing mention of Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Pauline Kael’s review of same, and the novels of Herta Müller.
Public Readings: Friday, January 5
In Canon Lounge, Gladfelter, 8:15 p.m.