Channeling Gertrude by Tom Konyves

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Swoon turned the tables on the renowned videopoet Tom Konyves here, making a video with a text and reading by Konyves. “Channeling Gertrude” was published in qarrtsiluni at the end of February, as part of our Imitation issue (which is still being serialized). Konyves’ description of how the text came about is worth quoting in full, I think:

An unusual experience prompted the writing of this poem — hearing the voice of someone we have never met. For me, it was the voice of Gertrude Stein. I managed to capture only one brief statement: ‘make a name for yourself.’ What followed was a torrent of words that astonished me; it was like being caught up in a whirlwind. Almost faster than I could record them, repeated phrases — with minute modifications — swirled through my mind and onto the page. When it was done, it was as if the words had been written by another. I then truly understood Rimbaud’s famous phrase, ‘Je est un autre.’

Swoon said a little bit about his process in a blog post:

I used recordings of reflections on the window of a train in a tunnel, mixed with an excerpt of recycled images from a video I had made a half years ago.

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