Toward an Infrathin Reading of Poetry
讲座地点：Zoom（会议 ID：853 3137 4320）
演讲人：Prof. Marjorie Perloff（斯坦福大学英语学院）
My new book, which I will discuss tonight, consists of practical experiments in how to read poetry. The term “Infrathin” comes from Marcel Duchamp, perhaps the greatest avant-gardist of the 20th century. By “infrathin,” Duchamp meant the smallest possible difference between an A and a B. If we pour identical substance into two or more molds, the products will never be exactly the same. Just so, in poetry, “eat” is not identical to “ate.” Indeed, poetry is the art of difference: it is not designed to have instrumental value; rather its qualities are complexity, density, memorability, and, given the idea of difference, uniqueness. These qualities are achieved by sound and visual appearance as much as by semantics: in poetry, every syllable, every morpheme counts. So I study poems as what James Joyce called the verbivocovisual. The poets discussed in INFRATHIN range from Gertrude Stein and Yeats to Pound, Eliot, Stevens, and then some contemporaries like Susan Howe. But the choice of poets is less important than methodology: quite simply, HOW TO READ, in an age when too much “reading” is just relaying subject matter.
Prof. Marjorie Perloff is Sadie D. Patek Professor of Humanities at Stanford University, Florence Scott Professor Emerita of English at the University of Southern California, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. She was also Weidenfeld Professor of European Literature at Oxford University, and the President of the Modern Language Association in 2006. As one of the foremost critics of contemporary, modern, and avant-garde poetry and poetics now writing in English, Marjorie Perloff has published numerous books, articles, and essays on issues ranging from digital poetics to philosophy, such as Rhyme and Meaning in the Poetry of Yeats, The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage, The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant-Guerre, and the Language of Rupture, Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media, Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century, The Sound of Poetry/The Poetry of Sound, and the recently published Infrathin: An Experiment in Micropoetics.