Reading and Writing Experimental Texts
This collection of essays offers twelve innovative approaches to contemporary literary criticism. The contributors, women scholars who range from undergraduate students to contingent faculty to endowed chairs, stage a critical dialogue that raises vital questions about the aims and forms of criticism— its discourses and politics, as well as the personal, institutional, and economic conditions of its production. Offering compelling feminist and queer readings of avant-garde twentieth- and twenty-first-century texts, the essays included here are playful, performative, and theoretically savvy.Written for students, scholars, and professors in literature and creative writing, Reading and Writing Experimental Texts provides examples for doing literary scholarship in innovative ways. These provocative readings invite conversation and community, reminding us that if the stakes of critical innovation are high, so are the pleasures.
1 Critical Play: An Introduction.- 2 Ecological Echoing: Following the Footsteps.- 3 Carole Maso’s AVA and the Practice of Reading: Selves in Dialogue.- 4 Expert Witness: Living in the Dirt.- 5 Blah Blah Bleh: Bulimic Writing as Resistance.- 6 “In the Soul of the Sidereal World”: Mining Barbara Hodgson and Claudia Cohen’s The WunderCabinet for a Critical Model of Interdisciplinary Curiosity.- 7 Reading and Writing in Kristjana Gunnars’s Rose Garden.- 8 The Water Will Hold You: On Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water.- 9 Writing a Sacred Self: Kathy Acker and Wonder / Amy Nolan.- 10 Impulses Toward a Telepathic Reading of Clarice Lispector’s The Stations of the Body and “The Beak of a Bird” by Amina Cain.- 11 Still Life with My Grandmother’s China: Mark Doty and the Lyric Essay.- 12 Lessons from Lying: Autobiographical Performances and the Conventions of Nonfiction.- 13 Take 12: A Critical Performance.
“An appeal for a fresh variety of scholarly work that “counts.” It never loses sight that the battleground for its war is the evaluation meeting and the third-year review, making it an important volume in a very practical sense to every scholar who is trying to decide between existing genres to work in, when they really should be focusing on texts, saying something new, and saying something better.” (Jason Kahler, orbit.openlibhums.org, 2021)