Geoffrey. "Box-Logic."Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding
the Teaching of Composition. Logan: Utah State UP, 2004.
Sirc emphasizes logics of annotation and collection as he
develops a new media pedagogy drawing on the variations of the box as it figures
into the work of Joseph Cornell, Walter Benjamin, and George Maciunas. Moving
away from essayist prose, Sirc deflects the related notions of "articulate
coherence, conventional organization, and extensive development" (115) and
instead considers the the "formal and material concerns [that] guide a
newly-mediated pedagogical practice" (114). The pedagogy involves association,
intensities, desire, and lack–"student as passionate designer" (115) and writer
as "dissatisfied collector, one impatiently seeking pleasure" (117). Further
emphases include open-endedness, "the raw, then, not the cooked" (120),
element(s) of play (121), a "loose, unthematized collection; the parts not
necessarily inflecting each other as in the traditional essay" (120), and
"It’s the idea of the prose catalogue. Text as a collection of interesting,
powerful statements" (112).
"The personally associational becomes key criteria" (116).
"The materially interesting, then, is what should guide acquisition" (116).
"It wasn’t a question of cutting edge technology" (119). ^Implication:
bricolage and prioritizing composition over newest! technologies.
"Involved here is an aesthetic of the found object, of interesting, quirky,
small-t truths one stumbles upon" (118).
"Arrangement of materials and notational jottings is a desperately important
compositional skill" (123).
Charles Simic on Cornell’s boxes: "Somewhere in the city […] there are four
or five still-unknown objects that belong together" (125).
"The refusal to allow text as open-ended, un-screwed-down box, rushing
instead to impose on it the mild boredom of order, is a concern I have with much
computers and writing scholarship today" (120).
Terms: wunderkabinette (116), "composition as craving" (117), caesura (123),
"blips of unfinished text" (124), textual possibilities (125), curio cabinet
(125), survival kit (124), pulsion and evaluation (124).
- Related sources
- Benjamin, Walter. Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High
Capitalism. London: Verso, 1997.
- Duchamp, Marcel. Salt Seller: The Writings of Marcel Duchamp. Ed.
Michel Sanouillet and Elmer Peterson. New York: Oxford UP, 1973.
- Simic, Charles. Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell.
Hopewell, NJ: Ecco Press, 1992.