Bird-Song by Everyone, for Everyone: Poetry, Work, and Play in J. H. Prynne’s Prose
In a series of prose works, J. H. Prynne sketches an alternative political economy of poetic production—one that challenges strict divisions between work and play, and between the worlds of adult and child. In the lecture “The Poet’s Imaginary,” Prynne mobilizes the “surprise” that can be found in a genuinely new poem to break the apparently eternal present of a day’s waged labour. In this chapter, Jeschke connects these moments of surprise with an off-hand remark on bird-song found in Prynne’s “Mental Ears and Poetic Work,” to trace a gesture towards a reconciliation of work and play. Decidedly this must remain a mere gesture to avoid what Jacob Taubes calls “the bourgeois apotheosis of culture.” However, insofar as a conceptualization of poetry through work and play is used minutely and unsteadily as a critical vocabulary, a form of movement rather than a settled achievement, such a conceptualization can contribute to a historical economics of speech. That is, it can contribute to the dissection of who gets to speak, who gets to sing, who is heard, and who is silenced as part of always specific capitalist constellations.
- Adorno, Theodor W. “Free Time.” Translated by Nicholas Walker. In The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture, edited by J. M. Bernstein, 187–197. London and New York: Routledge, 2001.Google Scholar
- Benjamin, Walter. Understanding Brecht. Translated by Anna Bostock. London: NLB, 1973.Google Scholar
- Blake, William. Songs of Innocence and of Experience . Edited by Robert N. Essick. San Marino, CA: Huntington, 2008.Google Scholar
- Chen, Chris. “The Limit Points of Capitalist Equality.” Endnotes, vol. 3 (September 2013): 202–223.Google Scholar
- Clark, T. J. Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of Modernism. New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1999.Google Scholar
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “American Crow: Sounds.” www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Crow/sounds. Accessed 23 March 2018.
- Endnotes. “Error.” In Bad Feelings, edited by Arts Against Cuts, n.p. London, 2016.Google Scholar
- Federici, Silvia. Wages Against Housework. Bristol: Power of Women Collective and Falling Wall Press, 1975.Google Scholar
- Google. “Google Careers.” careers.google.com. Accessed 27 March 2018.
- Hubble. “Best Coworking Spaces in London for Creatives and Makers.” hubblehq.com/blog/best-co-working-space-in-london-for-creatives-and-makers. Last modified 18 January 2018.
- Jeschke, Lisa. Theatricality and J.H. Prynne’s Work. PhD diss., University of Cambridge, 2015.Google Scholar
- Katko, Justin. “Relativistic Phytosophy: Towards a Commentary on ‘The Plant Time Manifold Transcripts’.” In Glossator 2: On the Poems of J.H. Prynne, edited by Ryan Dobran, 245–293. New York: Glossator, 2010.Google Scholar
- Luxemburg, Rosa. The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg. Edited by Georg Adler, Peter Hudis, and Annelies Laschitza. Translated by George Shriver. London and New York: Verso, 2013.Google Scholar
- Mörike, Eduard. Mozart’s Journey to Prague and a Selection of Poems. Translated by David Luke. London: Penguin, 2003. Kindle.Google Scholar
- Nürnberger, Helmuth. Geschichte der deutschen Literatur. Munich: Bayerischer Schulbuch Verlag, 2006.Google Scholar
- Oxford English Dictionary. www.oed.com.
- Prynne, J. H. “A Brief Comment on ‘Harmony’ in Architecture” [Xi’An, P.R. China, 23 September 2006]. www.cai.cam.ac.uk/sites/default/files/harmony.pdf. Accessed 23 March 2018.
- ———. “Mental Ears and Poetic Work.” Chicago Review, vol. 55, no. 1 (2010): 126–157.Google Scholar
- ———. Poems. Hexham, Northumberland: Bloodaxe, 2015.Google Scholar
- ———. “The Poet’s Imaginary.” Chicago Review, vol. 58, no. 1 (2013): 89–105.Google Scholar
- ———. Stars, Tigers and the Shape of Words. London: Birkbeck, 1993.Google Scholar
- Rihanna. “Bitch Better Have My Money (Explicit).” Video, 07:01. www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3eAMGXFw1o. Published 1 July 2015, accessed 12 January 2017.
- Schiller, Friedrich. Über die ästhetische Erziehung des Menschen . Stuttgart: Reclam, 2013.Google Scholar
- Taubes, Jacob. “Kultur und Ideologie.” In Spätkapitalismus oder Industriegesellschaft? Verhandlungen des 16. Deutschen Soziologentages, edited by Theodor W. Adorno, 117–138. Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enke, 1969.Google Scholar