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Talking Head5 juillet 2005
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I keep going back to this collection, again and again, mining it for its virtues. Antin is a master at talking, and these essays were apparently written first as improvisations, then polished over and over till they attain the shine of fine old silver. He has a way of describing things that make them seem brand new. His mind skips from one thing to another, exploring their connections, and yet he's light on his feet, like a stone skimming across the surface of a beautiful pond. His "manifesto" on postmodern practice turns out to be an account, rather like Mark Twain in comic richness, of himself and his wife trying to buy a bed and not knowing how to select the best one, and the awkwardness of trying out a bed in a furniture store, even with salespeople encouraging you to lie down and get comfortable on their samples. Never explicitly does he explain how this Jean Kerr type story might be an allegory for postmodernism, but Antin is wise enough to let the tale speak for itself.
His memories of figures varied as John Baldesarri and Herbert Marcuse are quite amusing. Best of all is Antin's line, without the benefit of capital letters, and sentences floating in scraps of phrases like comic book dialogue freed of balloon moorning. he approximates the free-floating effect of talking to someone who has absolute authority over thinking, and how liberating it is to submit to such a man. Reading the essays in this book, we long for more of such talk transcription. Apparently there are many, many more talks waiting for publication, and of course Antin happily is still very much with us planning more. He calls these talks "poems" and of course that is his right.
My caveat is that he spends too many pages repeating himself on the zaniness and spiritual emptiness of California, and he seems to be patting himself (and his wife, performance artist Eleanor Antin) on the back for bringing culture to San Diego way back when -- in the 1970s. This thrust seems short-sighted and an insult to San Diego. However, this is a book for the ages and I expect will bring pleasure to anyone who can get into it.
Worth a read, and a reread, and another after that21 mars 2012
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Excellent book of Antin's 'talk poems'. I find myself coming back to this book over and over again and always get something new from it. It's one of those books that I want to give a copy to every single person I know.