Sunday, March 09, 2008


On NPR this week, Scott Simon had his moment of Yasusada-dada, comparing the "Yasusada Affair" to the most recent literary hoaxes.

Certain 'journalists' prove a misunderstanding of work that isn't easily categorized. But I don't pretend to answer as well as this does, but here goes nothing:

Simon seems to have either missed the point --and he's not the only one-- or ignored the implications of hoaxes.

I was discussing Doubled Flowering last night with another friend of mine, and we agreed that the origin of art (to us, at least) is moot, since the primary "effect" takes place on a level of viewing, i.e., if you like it, if it hits you, what does it matter who wrote it?

The implications that origin matters are serious, and somewhat eugenic, in that it claims authenticity is hierarchical, that there are voices we should and can listen to, and then there are voices that we should ignore because they aren't capable of rendering a clear version of "reality" (since, it seems, to get on the bestseller list, it's just this one "reality" we need to be able to render...). I think that most media miss this idea in their discussion of the hoax. But who's asking for exhaustive reporting?

1 comment:

richard lopez said...

interesting since i've been obsessed with this book upon its publication. i was rereading sections on sat. after many months of not reading it.

the book is a brilliant construction and an equally brilliant work of fiction. if only because the poet yasusada is said to not exist.

but that's what i find so wonderful about the book. i can understand why critics or some critics and readers got all pissed off when they found out there is no poet, because we, or at least i, like to know there is a breathing person writing the texts.

yet, yasusada inverts that. and does it thrillingly. i can't explain why the book and the poet yasusada does what it does to me. it's like a high i suppose.

perhaps there is something in the awkardness of the texts themselves. how they read like translations.

and the fiction of the life of yasusada is part of its appeal. does it matter that he never existed? no, and yes. we know there is that someone who wrote the texts and conjured the poet. is that enough. hmmm. . .

and yet, i love the writings of yasusada very much.