[Jandek] Jandek Lives!

Shervin Fatehi fatehi at berkeley.edu
Thu Jan 22 21:47:07 PST 2009

On Jan 22, 2009, at 7:44 PM, Feigin Boris wrote:
> This is not Jandek hate-speech - I view it as a said indictment on  
> us, the fans. I think it has also been said in this list  
> before...the discussions among the fans have definitely slowed down  
> and there seems to be a lot less excitement now that Jandek has  
> "outed" himself, so to speak, with his live performances. Here is a  
> call to all the fans: I think we are in real danger of taking  
> Jandek for granted. The Representative is one of the greatest  
> musicians and artists of our (or any) time. I know I've been guilty  
> myself but...let's get re-enthused, let's get excited about Jandek,  
> let's maintain the rage!!!

You know, Boris, I think there's a very good reason that the  
excitement over exegesis would have simmered down a bit in the wake  
of Jandek's live performances. I haven't been on the list long enough  
to say whether that's actually been the case -- it's possible that  
the general interest has only *apparently* waned -- but here's why I  
think that might happen:

When something is mysterious, it engages our natural desire to know  
and, in absence of knowledge, to invent. Part of that process is a  
really rewarding kind of creative brain work where we look for  
connections between the facts at hand, and, in the process, end up  
projecting elements of our own personalities and experiences into the  
gaps, using the resonances we feel with what's known as a guide to  
what's reasonable. There are many possible sources of contention,  
which themselves inspire new thought, etc.

When a phenomenon is observed directly rather than inferred -- when,  
in a sense, the mechanism is known -- all of that fun projective work  
loses at least some of its importance. There's a change in commentary  
from "I believe that the person who made this feels like this (like  
me, or not)" to "the person who made this made *me* feel like this."  
And I don't think I'd be alone in saying that many Jandek records  
elicit very similar feelings (although I have special favorites among  
them) -- the range of discourse seems more limited.

Anyway, I just ordered the last five CDs and DVDs today, so maybe  
I'll have something to talk about again soon. :^P


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