cover image Content's Dream: Essays 1975-1984

Content's Dream: Essays 1975-1984

Charles Bernstein. Sun and Moon Press, $0 (465pp) ISBN 978-0-940650-57-2

As co-editor of the journal L=A=N= G=U=A=G=E, poet and critic Bernstein has published writers whose shared goal is the transformation of society. Since words encode social values, the writer must break with routine thought patterns, and, in doing so, help readers outgrow the ""hierarchialized'' structures that warp both capitalist and communist societies, argues Bernstein. This collection of 26 of his essays explores such topics as commercial movies' idealization of society, writing as a form of psychic surgery, William Carlos Williams's break with ``official verse culture,'' Arakawa's conceptual paintings and Ginsberg's poetics of breath. Several pieces employ fractured syntax and shifting frames of reference; a poem about the nature of work concludes, ``There's no escape from the nine-to-five self.'' Bernstein explores multiple ways of viewing reality as he ranges from Blake to Zukofsky. (June 15