I Dream of GENiEmorphEMEology II:
Postmodern Indian Sprints
in th' Marsupial Age of Wire & String

Continuing th' thREAD  wh'ere I left off '  in my diS'Section & RECONstruction of lanGUAGE & SYNtax ' prACTicing what I pREACH  [you shouldn't just USE lan gauge ' you should constantly REinvent it as you go along] ' there's a length y  eassay in th' latest Puerto Del Sol enTITLEd: "Network Subrealism: Sketch of an Emerging Trend" | in whIch ' Keith Nathan Brown puts my Marsupial & Ben Marcus' Age of Wire and String at th' forEfront of a new liteRARY movement  he dubs "Network Subrealism" | obVIOUSly I'm flattered  to have Marsupial in th' same genUS as Ben Marcus & to have my proGENy re viewed in such a light ' conSIDEring that Marsupial hasn't garnered too much attention  exCEPT by people I know like Blake Butler & Eugene Lim | it's more than JUST a "review" though—Brown frames ' o gives a new conTEXT to Marsupial & how it fits in in this sumwhat conTEMPorary [post-Postmodern] schEME of things  in a physical ' biological & lingual sense | | | Puerto del Sol

THIS is a REsponse |     whETHER it's true o  not ' it's ex citing to thINK about— that Marsupial & Age of Wire and String are at th' core of a new "NetSub" move meant biFURcating from Postmodernism: "Referring to both Marcus and White's texts as prototypes, or quintessential NetSub texts, and other representatives listed at the end of this essay, tentative conclusions can be drawn about the general features of such a literature." hONEstly ' I think this may be a PREmature mad dASH  & ineVITably at least Marsupial will get REELed back into th' Postmodern PELOTON | not that I eVeN know what "Postmodernism" is  nor preTEND to  nor have I ever IDentifiED w/ it '   but then a gain I've nEVER IDentifiED w/ aNything & shun all classification & genRE—which iroNICally is in & of itself a Postmodern at titude to have |  th' Oxford English Dictionary refers to Postmodernism as "a style and concept in the arts characterized by distrust of theories and ideologies and by the drawing of attention to conventions." & Miriam-Webster calls it a "...reaction to modernism that is typically characterized by a return to traditional materials and forms (as in architecture) or by ironic self-reference and absurdity (as in literature)," or finally "...of, relating to, or being a theory that involves a radical reappraisal of modern assumptions about culture, identity, history or language." |

Much as I'd like to say I'm NOT Postmodern ' by DEF inition saying you are 'not Postmodern' is a Postmodern thing to say ' so breaking out of th' Post-holing self-RE FERential spireal seems rather hopelESS ! saying "postmodernism is dead" = saying "punk is dead" | saying "punk is dead" is punk | punk IS dead ' it died when Sid Vicious died o be fore that eve n ' it died by virtue of it being create d & has since live d i n this state of limb o not k nowing what to do with it self | saying "Now what?" [in an ironic way ' a kin to ruNNers following Gump] is a Postmodern thinge to say & being a hypoCRITe is Post moderne | it is a bleak future & a "NetSub" future sounds EVEn bleaker | just th' word 'Network' allelONE makes me cringe | it sounds an a mal gametion of things I es cape from by WrITing & I don't see how SUBrealism is any different than SURrealism | I prefur SUR to sub ex cept when in th' word SUBtext | | |

I don't agree w/ o UNDERstand ever Y thing K N Brown is essaying ' but I am just hap py that MARsupial inDUCEd some sort of REarrangeMENT o REalignMENT of seament in his BRAin | b'cause sum intarresting things come of it:

"The primary drive here is not to question the authority or legitimacy of language as an inherited social construct. Rather, there is a presumed acceptance of the teleology of grammar and words. Even when the meaning of a word is strained to the breaking point, it is not the wholly subjective and therefore constitutive act of the reader, as the case may be with a Language text, to determine the ensuing meaning. When pinched hard enough to burst its cell structure, the meaning of a word or phrase is determined by the complex interplay of inherent grammatical structures combined with the colloquially accepted usage of the surrounding words forming the context. What results is not textual texture but textual plasma. Whereas the cut-and-paste and collage techniques operate via the charge created by juxtapositions, the NetSub method operates by redirecting old, or establishing new, connections."

[ This plasma is the JET Derrida speaks of that I spoke of before ] th' proBLEM is sum things he claims Marsupial are NOT I actually IDenti fED with while writing it | collage & juXtaposition were & still are at th' core of my methodology ' even associative & ran dom cut-up texts ' using chance | I EN joy sm MASHing sh'it up | though yes ' perHAPS tHERE is a CERTain deLIBERATE re con sti tut ing in me texts that thankfully Brown sees & appreciates | eVen writing THIS response ' I'm putt ing snip pets & chunks here & THere, rePOSITionING ' filling in th' MORtar cracks—it rare ly comes to me in one line ar fellswoop & withOUT hind sight rarely DEliberate & if THis ESSay was "literature" I would put it on that eXtra pedestal ' in a MUSEum & go thrU with a surgical knife & cut up eve ry word & sen tence ' e specie al ly if those words are in need of re con text uali zing | take th' word "recontextualizing" al though not th' best eX ample SINce TEXT is staring us in th' face ' but I still might want to break it down to ACCENTuate mor phemes of th' word ' may be as REcontextual o reconTEXTual dePENDing on th' context & intent ' o may be yoU s p l i c e it with sumthing else ' conSENSual ' REcontexual into a cODEx | break in g it d ow n  fur the r  to  D I  S  C R  E T E   N   E S S  | | |

It doESn't matter IF I agrEE o not ' it's more that he's INItiATEd th' conVERSation ' hopefully enCOURAGing people to think 'bout literature at it's core | Brown's ESSay is not neCESSarily about Marsupial & Age of Wire and String | B Marcus & I MEREly pulled the TRIGGER | we are vehicles for Brown to get his IDEAs on paper & me re sponding to his essay has tURNed into THIS ' which has GENErated some IDEAs in me own head & hopefully yoUrs if you have read this far | he talks very GENErally ' doesn't call out any PARTicular character o pLOT o ev en SPECific uses of lan guage | this is a bout him proCESSing OUR texts ' which is REALly what it's all about ' isn't it ? he drafted off us ' he passes & I'm SLIPpingSTREAMing off him slipstreaming meme: "Although Marsupial is heavily allusive (quantum mechanics, I Ching, Trojan War, biomorphology, etc.), the allusions are neither the point nor the extratextual reason standing silently behind their literary proxies—as if pulling away the curtain of the story would reveal the true meaning behind each character and event. Rather, the allusions are used sometimes as material springboards and sometimes as the method by which an idea or event is transformed into each other." | | |

Not onlY do yes ' I do this ' but now HE is doing this ! that's the SPIRit ! we are spRING-boar ding ' leap-frogging ' biCYCling ' running "Indian Sprints" for those that reMEMEber th' now semeingly antiQUAted term ' wHich is per haps a sub stantial EXAMple of LANguage that should NOT be al lowed to be come ex tinct ' unless th' ori gin of th' word is derog atory ' wHich I can't ima gine how it could be [ it's a way of team training in running o bicycling where you run in a LINE [ X 0 0  0  0  0   0 0 ] & th' PERson [X] at th' END sprints to th' LEAD [ 0 0  0  0 0   0  0 X ] then falls back in th' QUEUE [ 0   0  0   0 0  0  X  0 ] as th' NEXT adVances | a sucCESSful training techniQUE for th' better good of all those on th' team as well as th' indIVI duals | THIS is what we are doing ' HERE | | |

& i'm not just talking about words but th'ir MEANINGs as deRIVED etymologically from the SUMmation of their USEs | when yo U U se th' word, it CArries th' bag gauge of all it's PREvious [ab]USES & con[TEXTs] | Shake speare was slinging wet mud ' ALBUMen ' on an empty canvas | everything stuck | now we are all collagists ' we have no choice | we can't wipe a way a word's hystory unless we reinVENT new language & I haven't even brushed th' SURface here beYOND syn tax & words to th' hull of what th' ship carries to th' dREAMs & fABLEs ' says Brown: "Marsupial deftly captures the labyrinthine twists of dream-logic, but the dream never ends. The subreal membrane of Marsupial never collapses—punctured, yes, but never deflated." I take pride in that ' n ever deFLATing ' n ever making exCUSEs ' n ever having to say "I had a dream ... " | I FINished reading Dennis Cooper's God Jr. to day & while th' writing is great & all & there's a lot of interesting stuFF going on ' it's all framed within th' head of a stoner dad that plays video games | getting stoned & playing video games is th' same as sour cing dreams for CONTent ' it's th' expLICIT stating that he's doing it that DEflates me | there's some terRIFFic pass ages w here he turns into a BEAR & talks to pLANts ' that to me would work fantastic on their own ' but are less effective when in th' back of your mind it's th' stoner dad playing his dead's son video game for therapy ' which is an interesting con cept ' but b'cause of the weight of my personal associations with stoners & video games I can't RElate o allow meself to get sucked in | eveN the sight of a word like "NINTENDO" sets me off ' superFICIAl as it sounds | I do think most people need to be GROUNDed in a framing deVICE ' they feel more AT EASE if you preCEDE it with "I had a dream that..." o in Dennis Cooper's case ' by saying your are STONEd ' people can relate | obviously Cooper is a much more success ful & access ible writer than I am ' so th' trade off for him is that he gains a WIDER audience ' at th' risk of losing a few sNARky purists & it's my own shortCOMing that I don't smoke pot or cant bRing myeself to haf such framing devices that frame a story as contEMporary o at least sumthing a long the lines of 1001 Arabian Nights wHich I'm mulling & culling for me Natural Hystories Arc hULL | would The Wizard of Oz BE The Wizard of Oz without th' tornado & th' dream ? that's th' whole beauty of IT | | |

Th' READer's perspective is kEY | "To further clarify, the surrebral effect is the novelty of perspective, and corresponding emotional or psychological significance, emerging from the rearrangement of relations within a given set of familiar objects and/or ideas. A tension generated by non-ordinary relations among ordinary objects. The tension not of stretching something to the breaking point but to various piqued modes that, when struck by the mind of the reader, generates a tone or chord that just seems to resonate at its own frequency." | it's only when a reader's sHELL is DEconstructed that the FoG clears & s/he can see clearly | “Negotiating this wiggle room between genus and species leads to vast regions of interpretation. Dictionary definitions assume worldly immersion, and with it a reservoir of accumulated experience. Yet those assumptions function as the indispensable substatum upon which definitions operate. And it is those assumptions, which are so widely accepted and taken for granted when constellated under the status of ordinary, that are most fertile and ripe for investigation and transformation.”

Brown goes on to speci fically CONtrast Deconstructionist aspects: "Whereas Postmodern texts deconstruct reality, namely, the truths and ideas handed down from empowered institutions, NetSub texts reconstruct reality from a decentralized or networked position. Instead of taking apart, these texts reconstitute—with themselves as authority." this seams a LOGical dePARTure from deconstructionISM | emPOWERing to say the least | to reVERSE engineer it's own bootstraps it's lifting by ' to REbuild a holEy gHost building anew ".. a subreality created inside of our own by forgoing the anything-goes, helter-skelter nature of a typical experimental text, in favor of precision and rigor, even among the symbolic upheaval." | it's no SURprise that Brown is a physicist & he probably wouldn't be SURprised to know i am too & a mathematician ' by schooling & still at heart | per haps that's why he's atTRACTed to my work in par ticular | he goes on to talk about philo sophy & Hume & th' physicist Ernst Mach ' parapHrASHing him: "reality consists not of static entities but of a flux of phenomena defined by the constancy of relations between them; it is the apprehension of these relations which constitutes knowledge." someWhere aLong the lines of my physics schooling ' eSPECIALly in REgards to particle physics & string theory ' i started to think of almost everything as either OBJECTS o the reLATionSHIPs be tween them & tHere's no exCEPTion with words | they are true mor phemes & any meaning or ideas are derivative of the composite network [ok ' so I said network] of reLATionSHIPs estaBLISHed beTWEEN & for the WORDs | the words themsELVES are DEAD | per Brown: “Certain [text] objects are stripped of their wide unstated range of connotation by being repeatedly associated with only a few other objects or qualities, and so their depth is flattened to a plane of immediate associations in the text.” what's l i v i n g   is in the s pace BE t ween | per Brown again: "Still, an after-the-fact autopsy suggests a possible anatomy: reality, or rather, the empty logical form of any reality whatsoever, is internal consistency. Physical reality, in this regard, behaves as a system that exhibits internal consistency. One step further: any system able to ground its elements within a self-contained context that exhibits internal consistency, in effect, becomes a microcosm unto itself, the reality in which those elements acquire identity."

N A Brown lists th' most proMINEnt features of the Postmodernism (to which Marcus & I are re'acting to) as critical self-awareness ' skepticism ' relativism & deconstruction ' which actually I can IDentify with all 4 | it's like reading an argu ment that I wasN'T Postmodern made me reaLIZE I am Postmodern o at least am inHEREntly atTRACTed & comPULSEd toWARD art & literature w/ such features | much as I'd ENjoy th' rush of Ben Marcus & I sprinting a head of th' pack ' th' peloton will in evit ably REEL yoU in & there's comFORT & warmth in that | at lEast for now ' n'til a nother CHANCE to break ahead comes a long ' o n'til you get tired & fall back to rest on false laurels | not all is W.A.S.T.E.d | in th' surge to DistANCE hiss'elf [or POSTulate a theory that Ben Marcus & I are breaking aWAY] he ' WE ' get gob bled back up by th' Postmodern peloton ' but he per haps makes th' peloton pedal a bit harder to reel us in | this reeling ' pushing of th' ENVELOPE is ' o should be a fundaMENTAL tenet of any Postmodern peloton | not all is lost | along th' course ' Brown DISCUSses in an interesting way ' sheds light on sum things | says stuff like: "Every word in a language emits rays of reference. The rays are acquired directly by lexical definitions and the spoken use of the word, and also indirectly in the form of figurative associations and connotations." o "Lexical definitions, although proceeding along the lines of genus to species, presuppose and more or less implicitly state the range of involvement, or range of relations, of the definendum." & he talks in BIOlogical & PHYSical terms ' like he says: "Nowhere is the network model more apparent in recent literature than in the architecture of The Age of Wire and String and Marsupial. Each is a small arabesque construction of extreme intricacy and precision, a neuronal circuitry of intra-ray references in which the textual nodes are equipped with axon terminals emitting rays of reference, and equipped as well with dendritic branches by which a node is reference." If my writing in fact works on this lEVEl ' then I'm pleased ' I've succeeded | though perHAPS I'm a ego centric hypo chon driac reading a physic ians desk ref erence ' thinking I have all th' SYMptoms he is deSCRIBING for every disEASE | he continues: "The result does not forsake linearity altogether but allows for varying levels of looping, static feedback loops that re-inform and build off of prior nodes. The shift seems to be toward a more organistic approach, away from structural hierarchy toward structural complexity: a small efficient structure with a high density of self-organization, a beehive of information. As opposed to being externally dependent or allusive, the information or parts self-organize about the newly formed relationships and develop according to an emergent order. Thus the identity of the system is primarily contained within the system, within the relationships between nodes, and can be discerned by studying the system itself." Just as any independent barCODE o dataset should have a CHECKSUM or HASH sum algoRITHM to verify itSELF ' so should any TEXT OBJECT | a dictionary or any other REFerence should not be necessary | in this way L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E defines itself as it goes along | it's blueprint tattooed on itself | any lost snippet a HOLOgram you can take to replicate the wHOLE | a morpheme's conTEXT generates it's sentence ' not a death SENTENCE ' but one to further propagate into a paraGRAPh & a composite text object ' subSEQUENTially | in this way our texts SURvive us ' even after we live happily ever after | | |


(c) 2009 Derek White