From an avant-gardist
standpoint, we can see how the artificial (that is, the film) connects with life (the meaning produced by the spectator) in the space opened between two shots.
And yet, what classical Chinese translator today would be so well versed in the contemporary avant-garde that he or she could name--and be honored to appear beside--a similarly obscure avant-gardist
With respect to this ambiguity of intention between parody and pastiche, the New York poets, often cited as neo-Avant-garde heralds of postmodern developments, illustrate the sometimes critical, sometimes disengaged, attitudes of various avant-gardists
with respect to history.
The debate that animated the pages of Il menabo prompted the editors of Il Verri to organize a gathering in Palermo from which would emerge a full-blown discussion of the most important issues associated with the neoavanguardia, now solidified in Gruppo '63: linguistic experimentation and socio-political commitment, autonomy and heteronomy of art in late-capitalism, the role of the reader, the effective possibilities of the avant-gardist
project, and so on.
It would be futile to quibble with who was included and who was left out or who can be rightfully considered an avant-gardist
and who cannot.
The composer and writer John Cage once said "language controls our thinking; and if we change our language, it is conceivable that our thinking would change." Frost pushes this connection further when she writes "The avant-gardist
creates a radical aesthetic specifically to advance a political vision that can be realized fully only if the public psyche is transformed." In other words, the writers Frost examines all assume that a poem's politics derive just as much from its form as from its content.
In his 1963 cultural history of jazz and the blues, Blues People, Baraka wrote of the new jazz avant-gardists
: What these musicians have done, basically, is to restore to jazz its valid separation from, and anarchic disregard of, Western popular forms.
Peppis asserts that avant-garde artists "deployed the rhetoric of imperialism and exploited the sentiments of nationalism," and that these concerns were central "to the avant-gardists
' artistic and social ambitions" (4).
While the influence of the abovementioned creative forces is acknowledged by traditionalists and avant-gardists
alike, what makes this volume unique is the probing manner in which the contributors connect with and/or analyze the meaning and significance of their heritage.
In parodies, memoirs and feuilletons--some viciously dismissive, most confidently critical, and a few semi-reverent--such contemporary avant-gardists
as Lynne Tillman, Ron Sukenick, Lance Olsen, and Sparrow reexamine the literary myth-making of the writers who rolled "along the highway of dreams," as Tillman puts it in the voice of Kerouac, feeling "the cool American breeze rush crazily over my American skin." Kerouac the egoist, Ginsberg the mercenary, and Burroughs the reptile take heavy blows here; Gregory Corso, Diane DiPrima (whose erotic memoirs are parodied to devastating effect), and Amiri Baraka come up for pokes and jabs too.
If the book contains no blinding revelations about bebop's how and why, it does offer welcome confirmation of Ralph Ellison's observation that the makers of this extraordinary music were less interested in becoming avant-gardists
or in overthrowing the system than in coming up with "a fresh form of entertainment which would allow them their fair share of the entertainment market."