Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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January 04, 2007
always more antecedents

A splendid review by Jon Spayde in the current print edition of Rain Taxi brings to our attention more long gone possbile kindred spirits.

The reviewed book is Advertising Tower: Japanese Modernism and Modernity in the 1920s, by William O. Gardner.

Gardner apparently highlights the work of one Hagiwara Kyojiro. Spayde sez that HK's stuff "reads like the love child of Marinetti and Jules      Laforgue," and it goes a little like this:

Cracking the whip of destiny
at the summit of boredom and obscurity
a pierced throat, and the blood runs down!

A little more info about cultural life in interwar Japan appears in a fall 1996 Art Journal article here.

Elsewhere, Gardner has written that Hagiwara and his pals "shared a keen interest in new media, technologies, and architectural forms," and that the poet's work from the 1920s "prefigures the appearance of the cyborg bodies and cyber texts which fascinate us today."

Moreover, Spayde's review tosses in the point that Hagiwara's "school" of avant-gardists

was also an index of vanguard artists' increasingly desperate struggle with a government that had the trappings of a democracy -- a parliament, political parties -- but an authoritarian soul.

What on earth has that to do with the USA of our present era? I can't      imagine.