when you hear any of the following words, take a drink:
historiographic metafiction (that’ two big gulps)
am enjoying getting to chat with folks like Robert Kroetsch and Dennis Cooley, telling them how much I love their poetry. some great talks, some heavily jargon filled for the non academic kids like me, but all in all very eye opening. i like being immersed in language that would take me eons to learn if i had to read too much of it.
Linda Hutcheon’s keynote address on the Glories of Hindsight was a refreshing end to the afternoon, looking back on 20 years of postmodernism. She talked about some of the areas where pomo has the potential to make new, such as kid lit, revamping old fairy tales for example, graphic novels and opera, complete with video and music. the question of what comes after postmodernism was asked and no one had an answer. which is the right answer, i think.
i was particularly fascinated by the talks of
Jason Wiens of U of Calgary on George Bowering’s A Short Sad Book.
Alexander MacLeod, St. Mary’s University, whose talk on the role of regionalism in postmodernist writing was indeed robust, noting that the most widely published post modernist is Robert Kroetsch, who is the most widely published critic of postmodernism also.
kinda surreal (if you’ll forgive the term in reference to a postmodernism conference) to have the people who are the subjects of the talks right there in the audience.
Ian Rae of McGill gave a really fascinating talk about architecture and the Fall of Rome by Anne Carson. I haven’t gotten around to reading Ms. Carson yet, and I will now for sure. I loved all the references to Dante’s Divina Commedia and Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Dennis Cooley on the Postmodern Writer abroad with references to Kroetsch, Daphen Marlatt and Frank Davey's work.
Cheryl Crowdy Crawford of York U's about the suburb as a Canadian ? Postmodern? space. We also talked about apartments as postmodern spaces, based on a question raised by organizer Robert Stacey. one of the things that i enjoyed about the talks yesterday was the integration of the philosophies of postmodernism with every day realities, the spaces we inhabit. I want to read Lisa Robertson's the Office for Soft Architecture and other works that explore the concept of space in light of some of the ideas I've been learning about at the conference.
The conference is exceptionally well-organized. The Fred Wah reading at the Avant Garde was well attended, standing room only. See Charles picture of Fred Wah here. My only wish is that we could start drinking just a wee bit earlier, like say 11am...instead of 6 pm ;) the professionalism and hard work of the organizers of this conference is amazing. it’s fun to meet people from across Canada too and to make new friendships and enjoy the company of old.
two more days to go...expect the unexpected. don't look for conclusions...