Read a review of Carribean Fragoza’s K-12 by Ryan Reft at Tropics of Meta.

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This March 31st in Los Angeles, eohippus labs along with Black Radish Books, Tinfish Press, and Staging Ground will be participating in an AWP 2016 offsite reading hosted by the Poetic Research Bureau. Scheduled eohippus labs readers include Janice Lee, Michelle Detorie, Eireene Nealand, and Allison Carter!

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This October 9,10, & 11 in Los Angeles, eohippus labs, along with Les Figues PressThe Poetic Research BureauENTROPY, & Insert Blanc Press, will be co-hosting the 2nd installment of Open Press aka, Open Press 2015!

Open Press is a medium to extend the work of the writer, editor, and curator, to instigate new channels of reciprocity among those interested and engaged in what might constitute the literary at any given time. Over the course of three days, Open Press 2015 will feature roundtables, readings, panels, performances, a moveable book fair, and more in various locations across the Los Angeles area.

full Open Press 2015 information can be found here: Open Press

On Sunday October 11 from 12-3 pm eohippus labs will be joined by Kaya PressSidebrowCopilot PressCorollary Press for a panel that wishes to question the role of rhetoric within any kind of literary practice.

The panel will be centered around the following question: Should a literary practice—reading, writing, editing, curating—divorce itself from rhetoric? Embrace or modify it?  Seek to exist outside of its parameters or limitations?  What other forms, modes, strategies, or affects can literature engage/produce outside of rhetoric?

(full panel description)

eohippus labs Panel

For our panel we wish to question the role of rhetoric within any kind of literary practice.  We begin with Roland Barthes’ ideas around the new text and the old Rhetoric, as articulated in The Old Rhetoric: An aide-mémoire….

“At the source—or on the horizon–…as always, there was the modern text, i.e., the text which does not yet exist. One way to approach this new text is to find out from what point of departure, and in opposition to what, it seeks to come into being, and in this way confront the new semiotics of writing with the classical practice of literary language, which for centuries was known as Rhetoric. Whence the notion of…the old Rhetoric: old does not mean that there is a new Rhetoric today; rather old Rhetoric is set in opposition to that new which may not yet have come into being; the world is incredibly full of old Rhetoric.”

Barthes also writes that rhetoric has remained intact across millennia, despite other changes in history and culture: it is an “empire” unto itself whose duration continues to “flout historical reflection.”  He reflects that, even though the practices of literature/poetics and rhetoric were once separate, that in the Middle Ages, “the poetic arts [became] the rhetorical arts,” and “the great rhetoricians poets.”

Therefore, we ask our panelists to engage in and lead a discussion about: How various literary practices – reading, writing, editing – allow space for “the text that does not yet exist” and how to reconcile the possibility of the text that does not yet exist with the still extant “classical practice of literary language.. known as Rhetoric?” In other words, should a literary practice divorce itself from rhetoric?  Embrace or modify it?  Seek to exist outside of its parameters or limitations?  What other forms, modes, strategies, or affects can literature engage/produce outside of rhetoric?

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Rhetorical Practices (a partial list):

  1. A technique, i.e., an “art,” in the classical sense of the word; the art of persuasion, a body of rules and recipes whose implementation makes it possible to convince the hearer of the discourse (and later the reader of the work), even if what he is to be convinced of is “false.”
  2. A teaching: the art of rhetoric, initially transmitted by personal means (a rhetoric and his disciples, his clients), was soon introduced into institutions of learning; in schools, it formed the essential matter of what would today be called higher education; it was transformed into material for examination (exercises, lessons, tests).
  3. A science, or in any case a proto-science, i.e., a. a field of autonomous observation delimiting certain homogeneous phenomena, to wit the “effects” of language; b. a classification of these phenomena (whose best known trace is the list of rhetorical “figures”; c. an “operation” in the Hjelmslevian sense, i.e., a metalanguage, a body of rhetorical treatises whose substance—or signified—is a language-object (argumentative language and “figured” language).
  4. An ethic: as a system of “rules”, rhetoric is imbued with the ambiguity of that word: it is at once a manual of recipes, inspired by a practical goal, and a Code, a body of ethical prescriptions whose role is to supervise (i.e., to permit and to limit) the “deviations” of emotive language.
  5. A social practice: Rhetoric is that privileged technique (since one must pay in order to acquire it) which permits the ruling classes to gain ownership of speech. Language being a power, selective rules of access to this power have been decreed, constituting it as a pseudo-science, closed to “those who do not know how to speak” and requiring an expensive initiation: born 2500 years ago in legal cases concerning property, rhetoric was exhausted and died in the “rhetoric” class, the initiatory ratification of bourgeois culture.