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Long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and finalist for the Crawford Award. Title short story listed for the 2000 O. Henry award.

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Jennifer Moxley on The Structure

“Like many people, Marx’s critique of capital was my first structuralist revelation, the first time I thought, oh my, structure, it’s controlling everything! But of course nuance is key here. You know how gloomy you get when you first realize you are determined? Whether you feel determined by patriarchy or capitalism or whatever, a gloom overtakes you. You ask: how will I live, what can I do?! Sometimes it seems that what then goes wrong is that you start to feel at war, even in peacetime. You get this kind of extreme, martyr, war-like response to it, even if you are privileged, educated, writing poetry, etc. It can be a self-indulgent trap. You start failing to experience what you’re experiencing because you’re seeing everything through an ideology that’s supposedly critiquing ideology, so it’s just a trap, a maze.

I feel, again as an artist, to embrace one ideology and just use it as a kind of crib sheet on how to respond to situations is a disaster. I mean, we know it’s a disaster, because state-controlled art is horrible. It loses individuality, which is the only thing that we’ve gained in all these years of so-called “progress.” The free life of the mind, the true individual, is always at risk, so to just throw it out the window because you’ve figured out that some things are determined seems to me a mistake. I still believe that the individual can be self-determined at some level within the structures. At the same time, when it comes to language, all this goes out the window . . .”

from Talking Poetics: Dialogues in Innovative Poetry, via Isola di Rifiuti

Thu, May 31 2012 » Poetry

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