Kenneth Goldsmith’s: The Body of Michael Brown

Conceptual poet Kenneth Goldsmith’s attempt to reframe the Michael Brown autopsy report as poetry has caused an outcry on social media. The work, he said was “in the tradition” of his previous book Seven American Deaths and Disasters. “I took a publicly available document from an American tragedy that was witnessed first-hand (in this case by the doctor performing the autopsy) and simply read it. Like Seven American Deaths and Disasters, I did not editorialize; I simply read it without commentary or additional editorializing,” he wrote. “The document I read from is powerful. My reading of it was powerful. How could it be otherwise? Such is my long-standing practice of conceptual writing: like Seven American Deaths and Disasters, the document speaks for itself in ways that an interpretation cannot. It is a horrific American document, but then again it was a horrific American death.” More here.

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