flarf

Flarf and the prospect of open source poetry

Flarf and the prospect of open source poetry

From the beginnings of human literature, there has been an instinct to identify with the community, the collective, more than with any individual author. Many of our most valuable texts have been created by social groups and belong to those groups. Multiple, anonymous authorship brought China its cherished Classic of Poetry, gave England Beowulf, and even accounts for parts of the Christian Bible, such as the book of Hebrews—author unknown. The Bible, by the way, tells not one definitive account of the story of Christ, but four that contain conflicting details. So despite the current celebrity mystique surrounding the individual, named author, it's safe to say that at the core of human civilization lie values of collaboration, shared experience, and shared ownership. And certain movements in literature today remind us of those values. » Read more

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