Abstract: This article considers the central role of the alphabetic sequence in the conceptual writing movement, which has emerged as the dominant avant-garde in poetry in the past decade. By looking at alphabetic conceptual works through a formal lens, it argues that conceptual writing has more in common with its textual forbears than its practitioners would often like to admit. Instead of seeking precursors to conceptual writing in conceptual visual art, it considers conceptual written works alongside other alphabetic texts, such as abecedarian poetry and reference texts, to provide a new context for approaching conceptual writing formally. By focusing in particular on Kenneth Goldsmith’s No. 111 2.7.93–10.20.96 , the article argues that close reading conceptual work is not just possible, but essential, and that studying form allows us not just to see conceptual procedure in action, but also the ways in which rules-based texts formally exceed their constraints and thus destabilize their conceptual frameworks. The article ultimately suggests that the alphabetic structure is the epitomic form of a movement that would like to deny form’s centrality to its goals, and that alphabetization—a seemingly rote and rigid procedure—unexpectedly reveals the formal possibilities of conceptual writing.
Comparative Literature Studies – Penn State University Press
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera