Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review 276
PN Review Substack

This item is taken from PN Review 266, Volume 48 Number 6, July - August 2022.

Letter to the Editor
Rupert Loydell writes: I was pleased to read Alan Munton’s review of Steve Spence’s books in PNR 265, but must insist that the poet and author is very much present in his work: Spence is the selector, editor, arranger, reviser and creator of what he has written. As an academic researcher in Modernism, Munton knows full well that collage and re-presentation have a well-established history within poetry, as does the idea of the reader assembling meaning for herself.

The rise of the digital and emerging theories of remixology have provided other ways to understand the use of what Munton calls ‘quotations removed from their context’, although I would argue that Spence provides a new context. No language is or can be original, and Spence (along with many other contemporary poets) has simply followed a creative course and writing process that accepts and engages with this.     

Alan Munton replies: I really must look again at Milton and Wordsworth, and that radical Shelley, to see how they wrote like Steve Spence. And perhaps Chaucer was doing that back in the fourteenth century? Oh, you mean T.S. Eliot! But there’s no going beyond him. And what a surprise to read that the author of a poem actually arranges the words themselves. This is an idea that Rupert Loydell should develop in his magazine Stride, where he has been publishing Spence’s poems and reviews for years, and recently wrote an ecstatic review of one of the books I discussed. Though I do agree: we must think in Loydell’s terms, or not at all. I was trying to show how what he dubs ‘remixology’ actually works, and the reader’s creative part in that; evidently I’ve gone too far. And I was certainly interested to learn that ‘no language is or can be original’, and that we must all ‘accept and engage’ with this. Passivity before what is happening to language in these disrupted times is clearly the way forward. 

This item is taken from PN Review 266, Volume 48 Number 6, July - August 2022.

Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to
Searching, please wait... animated waiting image