Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rough Draft- Dada & Danielewski

I am having lots of trouble figuring out how to post this so that I can get feedback on the paper and the images. I am posting a link in this message and hopefully people will be able to take a look without the formatting being too screwed up.

I do have a question once someone reads the paper- should I put images from Danielewski's book into the paper to provide a direct relationship or should I take it for granted that people have read the book and understand what I am referring to (I give some page numbers for reference). Second question- is there an area that I should expand upon or that does not feel properly "fleshed-out"? I would appreciate any opinions/suggestions at this point...

Also, if anyone has a better suggestion of how I can post the paper intact w/ images into the blog- please advise. Or I can email a PDF...



1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

Your introduction is very strong, but might be strengthened by a quick sentence or two pointing out some out a couple of the passages (presumably in "The Labyrinth") most directly connected with your opening quotations.

I'm undecided on whether you should do it or not, but your early mention of Freud and of automatic writing could both be substantially detailed/unpacked, even at this early stage.

Anyway, to repeat - your introduction is very strong, because it gives us a good understanding of what your strategy will be _before_ cutting over into the necessary background material.

Good introduction to Dadaism.

Your discussion of The Blind Man is illuminating and compact. I wonder if you underplay your hand - it wouldn't be a stretch at this point to argue that one of the several meanings of Z's blindness is a reference to this journal. I need to remember to post the project on fonts from last semester.

Your discussion of Merz, again, is very good. And, again, I'm mildly torn. On one level it's certainly enough to simply lay bare the parallels which you lay bare -- this is, in itself, graduate level work. Nonetheless, I'm curious what you find to be meaningful in Danielewksi's relationship with Dadaism. Is it a source for ideas? Is his work commercialized Dada, or Dada on a large scale (equivalent to the difference between a conventional short story and a conventional novel?)

The presence of automatic writing with Dadaism is fascinating; the design vs. automatism gap seems to be a very Dadaist contradiction.

Your argument about Johny as collage-maker is fascinating. So Danielewksi is simulating automatic writing / collage, but doing so in a very highly designed format. Is this Dada, or its antithesis (I guess a real Dadaist might say both, I suppose).


As I said before, simply as a work of research which is laying out a set of influences and/or parallels compactly and convincingly, this is great.

There is considerable room for expansion, though, and a considerable benefit that could be realized even by a focused, relatively short expansion.

What does Danielewski's use of / response to / reference to Dadaism mean? This does not need, by any means, to be a conclusive answer - even a personal one, coming from the person to uncover the parallels, would be very valuable. Is this a careful exploitation of Dadaist techniques for literary, quasi-commerical ends (I mean, he advertises his sister's album on the cover!)? Or is the first successful attempt to bring Dadaist values, whatever those are, to the masses? I could go on, but that's the question - what does this discovery mean to you?