Monday, 6 October 2008

fake patio

I think it’s true that hoaxes have a habit of achieving goals other than the ones they set for themselves. Ern Malley is as shining an example as any: initiated as an attempt to discredit modernism the poems ended up outliving their authors’ own works and inspiring further generations of writers. It’s an example that Ron Silliman might find amusing in that the Malley poems in turn illuminate the poems of their authors as merely (for the most part) well-wrought containers of meaning. Harold Stewart wasn’t very good at it; James McAuley was a lot better (though even he succumbed to the tedious affliction that led Australian poets in the 1950s to write long and turgid works about explorers). Every hoax has its unintended consequences and I’m sure the author of Issue 1 wouldn’t have been expecting his own mailbox to crash with irate responses . . . or would he? In my own case I let ‘Skull’ Murphy respond for me and he’s a little more hot-headed than I am (years of TV wrestling ensure this). I’d agree with Jill Jones that Issue 1 is a harmless exercise though I don’t know that I’d want to claim ‘my’ particular poem. I doubt that financial gain is involved (though someone ought to be paid perhaps for all that cut and pasting). As for 'identity theft'? That’s something for the graduates of ‘professional’ writing schools to worry about.

6 comments:

Cheryl Bernstein said...

Disappointingly, I couldn't find any New Zealand poets in the "anthology"... perhaps they're being lined up for Issue Two. Skull Murphy could have a quiet word with the proprietors.

Laurie Duggan said...

Hmmm. I don't know what sources they were using, which might determine who got in there. It's almost random, but not quite. There was at least one NZ poet however (though resident in Australia for some time): Mark Young.

david lumsden said...

I'm hoping to erase from memory the very existence of Issue One - seems to have plenty of people hot under the collar - time perhaps for those asbestos pyjamas.

Anonymous said...

You pussies jst can't take a trick.

For all your anti-poet/poetry rants you and the rest of the avant-guard fall apart the minute someone disturbs your carefully manicured image of yourselves.

You're pathetic - and so is the rubbish you publish.

Laurie Duggan said...

Eh? Could you run that past me again?

Adam Aitken said...

I read the my poem, and realised that hardly a word in the poem was one I have ever published. I suspected it was a sampling program. It was boring as a poem but I might try to re-appropriate it. It is odd but I have this recurring dream about finding poems attributed to me, but I can't remember having written them. Then it happened!