21 September 2009

Jed Rasula

[from Jed Rasula's The American Poetry Wax Museum, National Council of Teachers of English, 1996]

The dominant modern institutions, according to Michel de Certeau in The Practice of Everyday Life, are colonization, psychiatry, and pedagogy, which focus and bring into line the renegade tendencies of the masses, the unconscious, and the child, respectively. The society of the spectacle engineers these elements into a coherent ideological motif, that of the nation, which is therefore less a polity than a fantasy. The fantasy is certified in its purity as a hegemonic "voice" at that point when individual members of the society or group appear to spontaneously exhibit the rules of order, the principles of cohesion, and reiterate in almost ritual fashion a miraculous unity of individual utterance and collective sentiment. This is the birth of the poetry workshop.

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