John Palattella

John Palattella’s essays and reviews have appeared in Lingua Franca, Dissent and the Boston Review. He lives in Brooklyn.

Heavy Lifting: John Ashbery

John Palattella, 7 June 2001

A little over thirty years ago, John Ashbery delivered a lecture at the Yale Art School called ‘The Invisible Avant-Garde’, in which he asked whether the distinction between the avant-garde and the mainstream has become obsolete. ‘Looking back only as far as the beginning of this century,’ he remarked, ‘we see that the period of neglect for an avant-garde artist...


In the Stockade

7 July 2005

David Trotter writes that the stockade in which Ezra Pound was detained in 1945 ‘remained on active service in literary criticism for rather longer than it did in the US army’s penal system’ (LRB, 7 July). At Guantanamo Bay, the US army detains terrorist suspects in open-air cages virtually identical to the one in which Pound was confined for three weeks at the US Army Disciplinary...

11 September

4 October 2001

I’m glad Michael Wood noted the rash of pronouncements in the US press about the ‘failure of language’ to account for the catastrophic events of 11 September, as if words were ‘supposed to make sense of everything’. ‘When,’ he goes on to ask, ‘did words ever make such extravagant, untenable promises?’ It is also worth noting that intellectual journalism...

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