Make It the Same

Poetry in the Age of Global Media

Jacob Edmond

Columbia University Press

Make It the Same

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Pub Date: July 2019

ISBN: 9780231190022

360 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $65.00£50.00

Pub Date: July 2019

ISBN: 9780231548670

360 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $64.99£50.00

Make It the Same

Poetry in the Age of Global Media

Jacob Edmond

Columbia University Press

The world is full of copies. This proliferation includes not just the copying that occurs online and the replication enabled by globalization but the works of avant-garde writers challenging cultural and political authority. In Make It the Same, Jacob Edmond examines the turn toward repetition in poetry, using the explosion of copying to offer a deeply inventive account of modern and contemporary literature.

Make It the Same explores how poetry—an art form associated with the singular, inimitable utterance—is increasingly made from other texts through sampling, appropriation, translation, remediation, performance, and other forms of repetition. Edmond tracks the rise of copy poetry across media from the tape recorder to the computer and through various cultures and languages, reading across aesthetic, linguistic, geopolitical, and technological divides. He illuminates the common form that unites a diverse range of writers from dub poets in the Caribbean to digital parodists in China, samizdat wordsmiths in Russia to Twitter-trolling provocateurs in the United States, analyzing the works of such writers as Kamau Brathwaite, Dmitri Prigov, Yang Lian, John Cayley, Caroline Bergvall, NourbeSe Philip, Kenneth Goldsmith, Vanessa Place, Christian Bök, Yi Sha, Hsia Yü, and Tan Lin. Edmond develops an alternative account of modernist and contemporary literature as defined not by innovation—as in Ezra Pound’s oft-repeated slogan “make it new”—but by a system of continuous copying. Make It the Same transforms global literary history, showing how the old hierarchies of original and derivative, center and periphery are overturned when we recognize copying as the engine of literary change.
Make It the Same rebuts the notion that formal word-games are a decadent first-world hobby. It is an empirically broad, thoughtfully constructed, well-written, timely book about an important subject: a technical "mode of production" prominent in contemporary poetry, with its effects on content and reception. Haun Saussy, author of The Ethnography of Rhythm: Orality and Its Technologies
Make It the Same offers a global perspective on cultural iteration, triangulating English-language poetry with Russian and Chinese practices. Edmond immediately underscores the unintended irony with which those in the United States speak of "the poetry world" to mean precisely the opposite of the global: a micro, naval-gazing echo chamber. Given how parochial literary communities around a genre can be, this is an especially important contribution to literary studies. Craig Dworkin, author of No Medium
With its revisionist echoes of Pound’s ‘make it new,’ Make It the Same is theoretically generative for thinking about modernist, contemporary, and world literature. Edmond powerfully demonstrates how the new media of repetition have generated a poetics of the same, a ‘copy poetry’ that remixes prior poetries in global trajectories outside Eurocentric, center/periphery literary studies. A path-breaking book for post-1950s literature! Susan Stanford Friedman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Copy as Global Master Trope
1. Postcolonial Media: Kamau Brathwaite’s Reel Revolution
2. The Art of Samizdat: Dmitri Prigov, Moscow Conceptualism, and the Carbon-Copy Origins of New Media Poetics
3. Making Waves in World Literature: Yang Lian and John Cayley’s Networked Collaboration
4. Shibboleth: The Border Crossings of Caroline Bergvall, Performance Writing, and Iterative Poetics
5. Copy Rights: Conceptual Writing, the Mongrel Coalition, and the Racial Politics of Digital Media
6. Chinese Rooms: The Work of Poetry in an Age of Global Languages, Machine Translation, and Automatic Estrangement
Recapitulations: Repetition and Revolution in World Poetry
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Jacob Edmond is associate professor in English at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is the author of A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (2012).