Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On Renee Gladman's Prose Architectures (review)

The following is from a review of Renee Gladman's Prose Architectures written for Hyperallergic:

Gladman imagines writing in English (would the experience be different in an iconographic or hieroglyphic language?) as a form of drawing, a sequence of lines. She recalls Gertrude Stein’s preoccupation with the “continuous present” of composition, and her frustration with repeatedly “beginning,” a quality she associated with the 19th Century Novel and which she attempted to transcend with her word portraits. Through the cube, a form that is both Platonic and ultra-Modern, Gladman begins to think about sentences and, eventually, paragraphs architecturally. “Were you building the present?”, she asks, closing this section of Calamities with the statement: “For a while, I hadn’t actually been writing but doing a transcription that fell in the deep space between drawing and landscape.” What links writing and drawing (in English) is their sequentiality — one word or line leads to another — as well as their essentially architectural character. Crossing over from writing to drawing, as Gladman does in Prose Architectures, therefore seems no crossing at all.

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