Literature Program

Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.


UB Poetics Program presents

Steve McCaffery

Book Launch & Video Screening

Steve McCaffery, the Gray Chair Professor of Poetry and Letters at the University at Buffalo, will launch his third independent critical book, The Darkness of the Present: Poetics, Anachronism, and the Anomaly (University of Alabama Press) in an event sponsored by the UB Poetics Program.

The event will also feature the U.S. premiere screening of McCaffery's 1991 commissioned video text Living Dusts, a work that collages the writings of cultural theorist Paul Virillo and philosopher Edmund Husserl with images and texts from Star Trek and vaudeville.

About The Darkness of the Present, fellow critic Jerome McGann has written: "This book raises important ethical/political issues for the practice of art in the twentieth [sic] century. The Darkness of the Present calls [practitioners?] to rigorous attention in a series of critical studies. It finishes in a deliberate move to stand back, in order to reflect on the issues from a cool critical vantage, like Tennyson's poet at the end of The Palace of Art."

In his introduction to the book, McCaffery describes the book as a series of chapters that share the common preoccupation of underscoring "the interlacement—even perplication*—of an odyssey of two well-known, abused, and disabused concepts: the anomaly and the anachronism and the way their empirical emergence works to unsettle a steady notion of the 'contemporary' or 'new.'"

*Making something more complicated (intricate) or perplexing by entangling its strands. Perplication:perplex::complication:complex. A term borrowed by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze from the realm of the vascular and used in Difference and Repetition (1968).