This essay attempts to give a fairly comprehensive account of what Charles Bernstein calls his “Art and Practice of the Ordinary,” with particular attention to his poetics of the (stand-up) comic and especially to the complex changes that this poetics undergoes in his later works, Girly Man (2006), with its responses to the events of September 11, 2001, and Recalculating (2013), which is everywhere shadowed by the death in 2008 of his daughter, Emma.

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