John Hawke

John Hawke teaches in the English Department at Monash University.

Cultural Partnership with Monash University and North American Book Distribution

We are pleased to announce that Cordite Publishing Inc. and The School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University have entered into a major new cultural partnership. As Jaya Savige, Poetry Editor of The Australian, wrote in his …

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Running with the Pack

These lost boys translucent in the radiance of a torn shop window with its eternal alarm are ripping the side mirrors from a stationary Audi, their vandalising hands strong with slowed time: lizard eaters with tongues of rough leaves and …

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Review Short: Astrid Lorange’s How Reading is Written: a brief index to Gertrude Stein

Walter Benjamin once suggested that there were two ways in which to misinterpret the writings of Kafka: either by ‘natural’ or ‘supernatural’ explanation. If Kafka’s works have the appearance of parables, the only clue to their solution is that it will be precisely what is not overtly communicated – they are parables, in Adorno’s words, ‘the key to which has been stolen’.

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John Hawke Reviews The Organ-Grinder’s Monkey: Culture After the Avant-Garde

The dream of a compact between revolutionary politics and a poetics of radical experimentation has haunted the avant-garde since its inception in the wake of the failed European uprisings of 1848. Rimbaud’s activation by the events of the Paris Commune, and Mallarmé’s sympathies for the Bakuninite anarchists of his day, signal an alignment between Modernist aesthetics and extremist politics (of both Left and Right) that is central to debates within twentieth century literature. The politics of the Cubo-Futurist avant guerre movements were notoriously unstable, informed by a mélange of Nietzschean and Sorelian violence, an apotheosis achieved in the cataclysmic events of the Great War.

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Destroy Kansas to Reveal Oz: from John Ashbery to Francis Webb

Frank O’Hara’s ‘To a Poet’ seems to encapsulate the New York School’s disregard for an Imagist poetics in which the natural object is always the adequate symbol: ‘when the doctor comes to / me he says, ‘No things but in ideas’’. The cornerstone edicts of Anglo-American Modernism, as contained in Pound’s ‘A Retrospect’, are seemingly casually dismissed in this phrase, along with the accepted prescriptions of Doctor Williams; a critical schism is established in Modernist poetry, with the materialism of Pound-Williams on the one hand and post-moderns such as John Ashbery placed in an alternate lineage with Wallace Stevens as adherents of a post-Symbolist Absolute.

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John Hawke Reviews Javant Biarujia and Michael Farrell

Fans of lists in Finnegans Wake will appreciate Javant Biarujia’s new book of poetry, Resinations. Many of the most amusing juxtapositions in the volume derive from the arrangement of proper names, drawn from (most) high and (very) low cultural references presented as cubistic materials in simultaneity.

Michael Farrell, on the other hand, a leading experimental poet of the next generation, is published by Giramondo – his previous volume, A Raiders Guide, was perhaps the most stylistically provocative book to have appeared with a recognised commercial publisher. Drawing on the Russian formalists’ exploration of the autonomous poem-as-machine, these radical fragmentations highlighted ‘The Word as Such’, and even ‘The Letter as Such’, in their concentration on the visual and sound properties of language.

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The Conscience of Avimael Guzman

All Peruvians are liars – Mario Vargas Llosa Peru is not a novel – Shining Path graffiti In grey wind where snow turns to ice, leaving no shelter, you are murdering the woman who made you feel guilty, who called …

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Suggestible like a Straw Pounded with a Rubber Mallet

Viewed through the sliding fountains of mirage, the anti-tines of a widely spaced comb, or just croaked out in panting chest infection, the subject becomes loosely fibrous, jellied, clotted with air pockets, a freshly painted glamour from some previous life, …

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