There’s an interesting post by Kenneth Goldsmith at Harriet, the blog of the Poetry Foundation about writing and the Web. Kenneth Goldsmith is probably best known – or not known? – to those who read if:book as the force behind UbuWeb; there was a fascinating interview with him recently at Archinect which provides a great deal of background on his work there. He’s also an accomplished poet; see, for example, his piece Soliloquy. In his post at Harriet, Goldsmith starts with a provocative statement: “With the rise of the web, writing has met its photography.” He argues that writing needs to redefine itself for the new parameters the Web offers; it’s a provocative argument, and one that deserves to stir up a broad discussion.
It’s nice to see that UbuWeb, the great public web library of the avant garde, is back online after “a long summer of rebuilding.” At times when the web feels depressingly shallow, Ubu can be the perfect medecine. Among the many masterworks you will find is Samuel Beckett’s “Film” (1965), starring a very old Buster Keaton. It’s wonderful that anyone can watch this online (I’ve just spent half an hour in its thrall).
Also worth checking out are /ubu Editions – handsomely designed electronic texts ranging across an interesting selection of poetry, prose and theatre, including Ron Silliman’s “The Chinese Notebook,” which Dan blogged about a couple weeks back. These, like everything else on Ubu, are free.