Review of “Flarf: An Anthology of Flarf” in the Los Angeles Review of Books

My review of Flarf: An Anthology of Flarf recently appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

From the review:

Faced with the daily calamity of the Bush years, Flarf testified that verbal play, and the creative détournement of our culture’s own language, could be a liberating act of resistance. Its antics were a valuable method of pushing back against what Wallace Stevens called, in another dark time, the almost unbearable “pressure of reality.” Perhaps right now we desperately need art forms that can seize on the language of our time, expose its absurdity, its deceit, and its sinister designs on us, and repurpose it for different ends. But in 2018, the online culture of misogyny, racism, stupidity, and hatred that Flarf exposed doesn’t need much further unearthing: it seems to be everywhere. As we gasp for air and sanity in the depths of Trumpworld, Flarf seems prescient but also somewhat redundant. To paraphrase Man Ray’s famous remark about why Dada could not survive in New York: Flarf cannot live in America. All America is Flarf, and will not tolerate a rival.

You can read the rest here.


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