CFP: William Carlos Williams Panel (1/25/06; ALA, 5/25/06-5/28/06)
Call for papers for ALA session sponsored by the William Carlos
Williams Society, 25-28 May 2006, San Francisco.
"William Carlos Williams and Traditions of 'hygenic writing'"
"My own (moral) program can be chiefly stated. I send it for what it
may be worth to you: To write badly is an offence to the state since the
government can never be more than the government of the words.
If the language is distorted crime flourishes. It is well that in
the unobstructed arts (because they can at favorable times escape the
perversions that flourish elsewhere) a means is at least presented to the
mind where a man can go on living.
For there is in each age a specific criterion which is the objective
for the artist in that age. Not to attack that objective is morally
reprehensible -- as evil as it is awkward to excuse.
Bad art is then that which does not serve in the continual service of
cleansing the language upon all fixations upon dead, stinking dead, usages
of the past. Sanitation and hygiene or sanitation that we may have
(Letter from Williams to Robert Creeley, 3 March 1950)
Paper proposals are invited for a session on Williams which responds to
his notions of the purposes of poetry, which he defines here in
relation to the "cleansing" of language. Papers can consider wider
notions of usefulness in poetry, and also Williams's role in defining
that for other poets and subsequent poetic movements.
Please contact me by 25th January with a brief outline of your proposal at
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or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Sat Jan 14 2006 - 09:46:52 EST