Caroline Bergvall’s “Via” reviewed in Jacket 38

The Noulipian AnalectsGenevieve Kaplan reviews “Via,” by Caroline Bergvall and featured in The /n/oulipian Analects, for Jacket #38. Kaplan explores the significance of how we read “Via,”:

Allowing that the process of creating a poem, particularly a constraint-based procedural poem, has merit is not a new idea, but the emphasis and placement of this discussion in Fig, before the presentation of the poetic text, is noteworthy. Can we not accept constraint-based or conceptual writing as valid on its own? Bergvall, by adding prose explanations to Fig, seems to agree that we can not, that perhaps we have neither the patience nor the inclination to fully examine a piece of writing which can be easily described in a single sentence. It’s easier to understand “Via” if we classify it as “noulipo,” or “conceptual poetry,” but if we are willing to also read it as a poem, on its own, our experience becomes richer.

Read the entire review here.

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