March 19, 2010

Notes on Fleisher

I've been on a three-day writing binge, which now feels like I'm emerging from a coma. In a good way. The time was intense, and the new manuscript is finally turning a corner. But I wanted to write some quick notes about Kass Fleisher's Skype in my Hybrid Utterance workshop. Jordan, Lina, and Renee (three grad students) organized the interview and asked Fleisher about her book: The Adventurous. First we had sound, but no picture. Then picture (she was projected on a giant screen in the corner of the Sycamore Art Room--she looked lovely, as usual), but no sound. Finally, the two were in sync.

From my notes (I hope I've captured these accurately):
  • Fleisher resists the idea of hybrid as a genre.
  • She wonders if it will last and if we (writers) are asking it to do too much (it's defined widely).
  • She has trouble with the term coming out of biology and being applied to the spectrum between poetry and prose: frustrating because of polarity.
  • She prefers the term transgressive writing.
  • Instead of a triangulated product, she embraces gynesis. The horizon: it keeps moving. An extended target. See Alice Jardine.
  • She's interested in discourse outside the main discourse. Slippage between genre and gender.
Quick response:

Perhaps the word hybrid is becoming overused, and perhaps we can't agree on a definition as it is applied to writing. Yet, biological speaking: I am hybrid. A mutt. A mongrel. I embrace the hybrid and the biological definition because my body exists between two: to become a third. A loss occurs here; gain also occurs here: culturally, linguistically, etc. I'm less concerned with the polarity between prose/poetry and more concerned with how and where discourses and bodies merge and rupture. The site of de/re/construction. As one who lives a hybrid life, this space is necessary to transgress the imposed boundaries because I am never seen as one or the other. I'm never fully accepted in either camp. Nor am I really seen as both. These outside projections have created an internalized oppression, where I try to assimilate, depending on the context, instead of accepting my monstrous self. Hybrid: problematic as a genre, as it is problematic as a body.

Thanks, Kass, for Skyping in!