TOWARDS A DINGE POETICS
“Yet do I marvel at this curious thing: to make a poet black, and bid him to sing.” — Countee Cullen __________________________________________
“Some of the Harlem Renaissance writers found it difficult to decide whether they were black writers or writers who happened to be black.” — Amritjit Singh, The Novels of the Harlem Renaissance
1. Sound familiar? __________________________________________
2. Since Stonewall, one could ask the same question: are we GLBT poets & writers gay—or are we poets & writers who just happen to be gay? __________________________________________
3. These issues were debated, argued about, discussed, thrashed out in the twenties and thirties. __________________________________________
4. Are GLBT poets & writers today still marred by false dichotomies between claims of art & didacticism? __________________________________________
5. Increasingly is it still relevant to discuss GLBT literature as part of the cultural milieu & revolution that created it? __________________________________________
6. The continuity of Afro-American lit & the Harlem Renaissance since the twenties—are there any connections to gaylit today & the way Stonewall and the SF Gay Renaissance gradually evolved? __________________________________________
7. Advantages today: growing gay audience commercial success doesn’t depend entirely on the whims of straight realism & heterosexual publishers/critics. __________________________________________
8. The Internet (e.g. www.Queerity.com) & the legal dismantlement of DADT & DOMA have channeled the white & straight bourgeoisie middleclass attempts to impose narrow aesthetic/social criticism on GLBT citizens in return for their increased recognition, benefits & legal rights. __________________________________________
9. Many issues confronting Harlem Renaissance intelligentsia & later black activists—are being faced by GLBT poets & writers today. Class conflict continues in all facets of gay/black American life, e.g. GLBT marriages, employment rights & equal spousal benefits. __________________________________________
10. American ‘innocence’—living constantly & increasingly in the present, deprived of the past—or at best reconstructing the past to justify the present = intense preoccupation with the present & blatant ignorance of the past. Does such a narrow, anti-intellectual POV—result in a gay-black provincialism, a dystopian dinge myopia for those of us poets & writers interested in some kind of dinge double-consciousness detente? __________________________________________
11. Flashes of GLBT clairvoyance—a new more faggy subversive James Baldwin "Native Son" or perhaps a revised homoerotic Ralph Ellison "Invisible Man"? An updated queer Blaxploitation classic filmography—"Son of Blacula," an SM comedy "Cotton Comes to Harlem" in drag?
12. A somewhat more transgressive post-Stonewall GLBT approach to Netflix New Dinge Cinema? A more Blaxploitative Blogosphere Film Crit informed by a post-Stonewall, post-Harlem, post-AIDS/DADT/DOMA Dinge Poetics equal to William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha Children of the Dark House.