Artifice of Absorption: Bernstein, Charles, Volume 4, Issues Front Cover. Singing Horse Press, – American poetry. This rich collection is far more than an important work of criticism by an extraordinary poet; it is a poetic intervention into criticism. “Artifice of Absorption,” a key. Get this from a library! Artifice of absorption. [Charles Bernstein].

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Artifice Of Absorption by Charles Bernstein. Women are returned again and again as consumers to the retail outlets that will remedy their ever-renewed textually reflected imperfections Of course new ventures always require risk, but by carefully analyzing the situation, we became smart risk takers.

And yet Bernstein has become the most consummate of professionals; he has a chair at SUNY-Buffalo; he has edited numerous books vernstein poetics; he has published three volumes in which his own criticism is reprinted; he has published a couple of dozen books of poems. Like Stein, he uses his criticism much more standard than hers to advertise his poetry. In that sense, the fashion that Bernstein seeks to wear and write is an anti-fashion like the one described by Dick Hebdige in his important study, Subculture: Bernstein has been known to sell as many as 12, copies of one style in the same week.

Or, as Jed Rasula puts it, “Driven by a taste of novelty, Americans seem intent on celebrating as sublimely original only those achievements that are servile imitations” 9. To block these signals is to perform the kind of operation on artifics language accomplished by George Orwell in his “Politics and the English Language.

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What if it has been reduced to a style emptied of content? Email required Address never made public. What role should poetics play absogption contemporary culture? It remains to be chrales, however, to what extent Bernstein is able to maintain his anti-fashionable status at the moment when fashion is catching up with him, or if his strategy of disavowing fashion by indulging in it succeeds in dismantling other, more ready-made styles. Like Adorno, Bernstein believes that “Fashion enthrones itself as something lasting and thus sacrifices the dignity of fashion, its transience” quoted in Davis Style of thinking, style of work, style of planning and organizing, style of language” Whereas mass produced clothing had originated for the working class market blue jeans come to mindit soon became a marker of elite status, even if that status was only symbolic.

The poet then includes material from his own career:.

My mother was more concerned with her hemline. What the poet can do, and what Bernstein has done throughout his nearly 30 year career, is to critique fashions of writing that attempt to conceal their status as fashion.

In arguing against ready-mades, of course, Bernstein is also setting himself against the model of his father and of Pound, for whom the allusion was a kind of ready-made to be slipped into the piggy-bank of poetry.

Artifice Of Absorption by Charles Bernstein

The U of C Press, Artific using these ready-mades, however, Bernstein risks his own authority, at least the kind of authority one arrives at through a tone of sincerity. For Bernstein, then, forgeries and copies are at once the symptom of our failure to use language “well” which often means “badly” in the conventional sense of the term and the only hope to intervene in that world, now filled with disposable ready-mades.


He concludes his request for money with a sentence that puns between the worlds of art and business: The Meaning of Style: The values of elite culture were simultaneously upheld and undermined by this peculiar variant of democracy. For Bernstein, however, the accident is already contained, as potential, in the garments that we wear. It is not entirely clear what the shifts in style in this piece actually do for the writer or his audience, except insofar as they render it more entertaining a word hardly charoes applicable cbarles professional writing of any sort.

Artifice Of Absorption

Bernstein has long been interested the way in which language participates in the larger economy of “value,” in its two senses. Empty spaces, the absence of ruffles and curtains, and beautifully polished surfaces of wood and metal were masculine” aryifice And yet the poem, by cutting and mis-seaming its way from sentence to sentence, critiques that language and the “form” of life that it at once creates and mirrors.

By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. You can leave a responseor trackback from your own site. That this bernwtein already a dead metaphor we know that the dress is also mass-produced matters less than that Barthes and Bernstein define their terms to distinguish between the multiply similar and the multiply different or eccentric and that they make clothing serve as a metaphor for language use.