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Notes on Post-Conceptual Poetry

Notes on Post-Conceptual Poetry

Felix Bernstein

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With "You Guys, We Need to Talk About Felix," a Preface by Trisha Low
Paperback, 170 pages
Dimensions 5.5" x 8.5" x 0.5"
ISBN: 978-0-9961696-3-9


Notes on Post-Conceptual Poetry by Felix Bernstein is an aggravated survey of contemporary poetry, art, and criticism; compounded by compulsive archaeological digging in to the relics and ruins of Language poetry, Conceptual poetry, and Felix's own familiar familial corpus. He shows how our Millennial artists (Lady Gaga to Dorothea Lasky), literary movements (Post-Conceptual Poetry to Alt Lit), and political philosophies (Speculative Materialism to Queer Theory), interface with 20th-century aesthetics by revising (through appeals to sincerity, affect, and the great outdoors) and reinforcing (through lingering appeals to irony and the presumed necessity of reductive meme-making and networking) the daunting trifecta of post-structuralism, critical theory, and postmodernism.


"It seems unfair that Felix Bernstein should both be born into the position of heir to a famous poetry surname and be something of a genius—should such a slim boy be burdened with both? It’s enough to make one flap one’s humid veil like a frog-duenna. Yet this book is one of sheer pace and fitful pleasures, post-conceptualism’s ‘death of the work’ a reinvention of zero, as intrepid Felix nimbly parries with the spectre of Kenny Goldsmith, with various twentieth-century proper nouns, with family/literary history, and, always, with himself, a tail-chasing enterprise which traces another zero which is also an infinitesimal stage." —Joyelle McSweeney (author Percussion Grenade from Fence and Salamandine: 8 Gothics from Tarpaulin Sky Press)

"Notes on Post-conceptual Poetry is a list of ninety-three (93) notes, plus intro and endnotes, in which Bernstein attempts the most explicit and energetic deconstruction of prevailing avant-garde social minutiae I’ve yet encountered. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever read a text more intelligibly self-aware. Drawing on thinkers from Deleuze to Lacan to Love to Ngai to Badiou to Barthes to Perloff, and combining a Zizekian X-ray vision with the biting “you can’t scare me” of youth, Notes constitutes Bernstein’s irruption into / refusal of the institutional avant-garde." Monroe Lawrence, The Capilano Review  

"Notes on Post-Conceptual Poetry counter-canonically induces its subjects by way of negative generational reconnaissance and horrifically attritional complicity. It’s tough: sheaving a set of contemporaneous cultural productions, this work of maddened criticism plays privilege up the transplatformal compound it flexes to obscure a punctum. Insert Blanc Press didn’t get these Notes first, after all—Facebook and The Volta did, as may others still. An insistent skepticism resonates intra-argumentatively, doubtlessly and hopelessly cauterized by the conceptual lineage it serves to chip away at, leakage inevitable—and in “longing (for an end to work),” against and by the predecessors that shaped it. This version of Notes on Post-Conceptual Poetry also did not receive the assistance of an NEA Art Works Grant; nevertheless, it successfully arranges its excesses along an advanced political-philosophical horizon while exhaustively antagonizing the assessments those arrangements produce. Frantic, tactical, and resistant to endogenic rumor, it stages a few of the troubling and provocational concerns that presently riddle Bernstein’s network of writers and artists, young and old alike—their nascence approaching a discontinuity of precedential adjudications to trend and fault." —J. Gordon Faylor, Gauss PDF

"This book pretty much gets the now. Like with a slam dunk. And it knows it is slam dunking too. But even tho he's that total know-it-all boy in high school you gotta love him cuz he's also totally twisty and dark too. As in somber. Like a jewish intellectual Edward from twilight. I think we all dig boys with good breeding who are a little smart and crazy and blood thirsty. So why not try him out? It'll be a fun ride, if nothing else." Hilary Duff (author of Elixer, Simon & Schuster)


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Translation missing: en.Felix Bernstein

Felix Bernstein debuted on YouTube with his disarming and satirical coming out video in 2008, going on, in later videos, to play Amy Winehouse, Lamb Chop, and Leopold (Peter) Brant. With Gabe Rubin, he made the films Unchained Melody and Boyland. Together they directed and starred in Red Krayola’s opera Victorine at the 2012 Whitney Biennial. Bernstein’s critical and uncritical writings have appeared in Bomb, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, and Boston Review. In Fall 2015, his new performance Adonis or Bieber Bathos Elegy will have its premiere at the Whitney and his collection of poems Burn Book will be out from Nightboat. You can see his work at FelixBernstein.Com or try @FelixBernstein on Twitter and Facebook.