The philosophy suggested by Jan Zwicky's expanded understanding of lyric and use of the fragment-as-method inspired this notebook of misunderstanding. Seeking to read Zwicky in the tradition of the aleatory genre and its basic form, the fragment, Roberts finds that her own sense of poetics and ethics (feminist, poststructural, phenomenological) accords generally with Zwicky's lyric philosophy and epistemology of imagination. Roberts's resonance with Zwicky's theory is conflicted by Zwicky's choice to isolate her fragment-method from the larger history of the aleatory genre and its complex political evolution. Misunderstandings are compounded by Zwicky's disengagement from her contemporaries in the aleatory genre, the instability of her definitions by way of gestalt, and the impossible scale of her “ontological imperative.” In the end, Roberts is disappointed by this tempting but failed affinity.
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M. F. Simone Roberts; The Aleatory Genre: A Notebook of Misunderstanding. Common Knowledge 1 April 2014; 20 (2): 235–256. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0961754X-2422926
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