John Hand, "Lyrical Fabrications: An Adornian analysis of John Forbes' poetry"
Monday August 6, 3pm, Menzies N702 (Monash, Clayton)
Theodor Adorno's most famous statement of literary criticism is his assertion that "[t]o write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric". But he also said that silence is not an option: "literature must...not surrender to cynicism merely by existing after Auschwitz". It is argued that the coherently strange/strangely coherent poetry of John Forbes, under Adornian analysis, embodies and rises above this dilemma, albeit negatively. Each lyrical fabrication is a "tailored lightsail" designed to carry the possibility of literature through to a world - hopefully waiting - in which the possibility of a recurrence of Auschwitz has been dissolved.
Either that, or we will "sit and write & / smoke, thumbing through Adorno like New Idea".