Critical Leisure: The Poetry of Simulation - The One Volume Edition
In Ariel Samuel Ackrum’s first poetic work, Critical Leisure, the distinctions between theory and poetry, criticism and consumption, and work and leisure are called into question, and the terms in each contradiction are absorbed in and annulled by their proximity to each other (in their respective universalization). The work portrays the manic effortlessness of an excommunicated man’s silent fascination—in a communication-based world order—with the promiscuous nihilism of information. Critical Leisure thus wagers an experimental challenge of almost aphoristic poetry to an otherwise obscene world of systematic, chronically forced or otherwise compulsive communication. Of course, is the point of the challenge necessarily to succeed? The reader is invited to question the extent to which the poems don’t themselves formally (symptomatically) resemble the forced communication they appear to (without necessarily claiming to) resist. And from this question another arises: “so what if they do?” Critical Leisure challenges readers to consider whether any resistance to the world order that wishes to remain pure and unaffected by (external to) that order can really challenge it—or if the former critical distance of modernity and postmodernity itself doesn’t repeat the normalized apathy (and avoidance of daily life) characteristic of consumer capitalism.