Continued Discussion of Meschonnic on Thom Donovan's Facebook page

Wall post:

Thom Donovan still thinking about Henri Meschonnic's "politics of rhythm" after Lisa Robertson's wonderful presentation this past weekend...


Anyone know how Lisa was using "party" in "manifesto for a rhythm party"? Like a political party? Or like get down & party? ~Kap Harris

I wondered about the reinscription of "voice" in some of what Lisa read . . . Meschonnic was a fairly reactionary figure in France, when I discovered him, doing translation studies in the 90s. He argued violently against écriture (and was in turn rejected by the Tel Quel movement--hence the lack of international attention paid to him) and attacked... See More some of the writers I was working on, like Albiach and Royet-Journoud. Critique du rhythme reads (at one level) like an argument for spoken word, avant la parole, with all the arsenal of the language poets, but without Bernstein's generosity and nuance--an ideological version of Close Listening. He also argued for a different Mallarmé, from the one the poststructuralists had claimed. Definitely an interesting mind. I'll have to look at Critique du Rhythme again and check out his other books. Anyways, Lisa's translations are great. I like Kap's question here . . . ~Jonathan Skinner

given the return to lyric valuables through socio-political committedness of the last, say, ten years I find the notion of rhythm being inherently political (and expressive of a biopolitics) a possibly vital way of reframing the lyric through embodiment without a loss of particularity. Silvia Federici suggests something quite similar through her ... See Morelinking of dance/movement research with rhythms opposed to liberal pluralist mechanisation. does rhythm itself--made visible by linguistic or bodily gesture--than become a site for political-cultural contestation/counter-hegemony? I have not read Meschonnic on any of this, but Lisa's talk got my imagination going...~Thom Donovan

O yes, thanks for articulating that. (Plato also had some strong things to say about rhythm and politics.) Surely interesting! I just wanted to post a flag. (Golston also reminded us of some of Meschonnic's possibly less savoury affiliations, via eurythmics, etc. At the same time, I could see some of the point of Meschonnic's arguing against ... See Morethe "terhorie" of Tel Quel.) It's interesting how authors & thinkers can escape the ideological entanglements of their moment via translation, finding a new, different life in another language, perhaps one they might never have envisioned or even willed . . . ~Jonathan Skinner