Jenny Boully and Genre Proliferation

by on Nov.19, 2011

Just stumbled across this interesting review of Jenny Boully’s not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them in the journal Diagram:

You know you’re afraid of becoming old when you can’t figure out what genre you’re reading. Or, you know you’re afraid of becoming old when you care to figure it out. Or, if you want to play at Peter Pan and pretend you aren’t becoming old at all, you can let the pages wash over you like white and never hook into the project at all. I am afraid that I am old enough that it took me awhile to get into Jenny Boully’s, Not Merely Because of the Unknown that was Stalking Toward Them. I wanted character development if this was fiction. I wanted consistent voice if this was nonfiction. I wanted line-breaks, damnit, if this was poetry. How do you measure something without the parameters of convention? I didn’t care if she was uprooting genre conventions, I just wanted to know which genre she was putting her shovel to. But the moment I turned the book over and saw the categorization fiction/poetry, I, finally, after pretending to youth and pretending to study cross genre, understood what crossing genres meant. Not using one genre to disturb the other, but to use the conventions of all the genres, all the time…

3 comments for this entry:
  1. adam strauss

    As a 25-year-old boy composer of poetry I am infatuated with war and am concerned that my interest in violence subjects me to discrimination from the 21st-century poetry populous. It appears to me that boys are expected to abandon violent representations in their poems.

    The above seems to me to be a tad over-reliant on gender stereotype: GIJoe boy etc. Without great care I wonder if this stance could lead to eliding the gendered inflections relating to violence. The above maybe suggests violence as uninflected space.

    I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if poems that violate the poems’ “speakers” cld fly with people.

    Question: could “culture” be cooler with girls going into costumage because gals are, at times, allowed to be dressed-up, whereas a man in costumage might be subject to that response–how gay.

    Then again this post doesn’t seem to emphasize performance. Perhaps that’s the key.

    As others have hinted, I find this post a tad reactionary, but I also do believe the question is worth asking.

    Is it possible to perform mysogony? Or is that a dynamic which cannot ever actually be faked?

  2. adam strauss

    Oops, my comment shld be for the violence/boy-po-land post.

  3. Kent Johnson

    Just to say (I think I’ve said it before under another post concerning her), that I think Jenny B. is a *terrific* writer.