Search This Blog

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Identity: expressivity and language


Identity, like language, is a product of construction that can be deconstructed, but identity is also more profound than a voice or a role … it is a site of resistance and a product of learning and reinforcement and even expressivity that calls the possibilities of individual agency into question, that effectively short-circuits agency. A layer between layers, the site of a friction and sliding, likened by some to a broth or base, by others to a skin that forms on the surface of bubbling vapors. Sure we learn to act with adult aplomb, but that “creation” is not solely a product of our own agency; sure we may play multiple voices against one another and reveal the constructed nature of voice …. that would be a language game. For me at any rate the constructed nature of reality is quite apart from the qualities of affect and expression that motivate poetry. Indeed the best poetry is partly marked by its preconscious and instrumental aspects, the child playing fort-da. If I have a problem with language poetry, or post-language poetry, as much as I have learned from these methods, it is that the expression of  “identity” is suppressed.