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The Continuous Present : A Note about David Antin's Selected Essays

Abstract : \Q Hélène Aji maybe thats the problem with the notion of the avant-garde that it turns itselffrom a discourse into a tradition whose members worry about its decline in a threatening future and maybe thats why i'm such a poor avânt-gardist because i'm mainly concerned with the present ("what it means to be avant-garde" what it means to be auant-garde 53) This concern with the present seems to contradict the very action of anthologi zitg a selection of essays about art and literature, focused on avant-garde works and spanning four decades-unless the present which David Antin is grappling with is not the flitting interstitial moment between a receding past for which we are inexorably nostalgic, and a looming future filled with uncertainties and hopes that can be as daunting as threats. Could it be the continuous present in which Gertrude Stein claims to be writing? A continuous present which is staged and enacted by the text itself, in the ways it keeps track of the difhculties of its composition, and makes us experience the difficulties of reading. In the ways also the text absorbs all the variety of life itself, and transfigures the autobiographical into " everybody's autobiography."
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Hélène Aji. The Continuous Present : A Note about David Antin's Selected Essays. Golden Handcuffs Review, Lou Rowan, 2012, 1 (15), pp.158-168. ⟨hal-01639968⟩

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