Language Writing and the Burden of Critique


This essay examines language writing’s investment in critique as a standpoint for poetics. Focusing on the work of Ron Silliman, my analysis attempts to draw out procedures that are latent in language writing’s use of critique and the consequences that follow. I argue that while there is no doubt the turn to critique has done much to unify and radicalize language writing as a movement, it is also responsible for introducing a culturally reductive set of discriminations into conversations about poetics.

This article “Language Writing and the Burden of Critique” originally appeared in 21st-Century Poetics. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 210-211 (Autumn/Winter 2011): 9-26.

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