I can’t resist pointing this blog’s readers to today’s entry on Silliman’s blog, wherein he lavish roughly 2,800 words on a book whose aim he characterizes thusly: “[I]t wants to place conceptual writing — including flarf & more than a few kinds of appropriative techniques — into a historical context that renders all that has come before obsolete & irrelevant.” In other words, the authors use history in order to render history meaningless. In true intellectualoid fashion, Silliman parses the pointlessness of this effort in a way that foregrounds not only his own poe(li)tical obsessions but his shirt size. No kidding.
For an eloquent but non-intellectualoid exploration of the origins of phenomena like conceptual and post-avant writing, check out Martin Earl’s post today on Harriet. The contrast between Earl’s essay and Silliman’s is revealing.