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McCaffery to launch third book of critical studies tonight at Hallwalls

Steve McCaffery, the  Gray Chair Professor of Poetry and Letters at the University at Buffalo, will launch his third independent critical book, "The Darkness of the Present: Poetics, Anachronism and the Anomaly" (University of Alabama Press) tonight (Thursday) at 8 p.m. at Hallwalls Cinema, 341 Delaware Avenue (near Tupper St.) in an event sponsored by the UB Poetics Program.

The event will also feature the U.S. premiere screening of McCaffery's 1991 commissioned video text Living Dusts, a work that collages the writings of cultural theorist Paul Virillo and philosopher Edmund Husserl with images and texts from George Lucas' Star Wars and vaudeville.

About "The Darkness of the Present," fellow critic Jerome McGann has written: "This book raises important ethical/political issues for the practice of art in the twentieth [sic] century. The Darkness of the Present calls them to rigorous attention in a series of critical studies. It finishes in a deliberate move to stand back, in order to reflect on the issues from a cool critical vantage, like Tennyson’s poet at the end of The Palace of Art.”

In his introduction to the book, McCaffery describes the book as a series of chapters that share the common preoccupation of underscoring "the interlacement--even perplication--of an odyssey of two well-known, abused, and disabused concepts: the anomaly and the anachronism and the way their empirical emergence works to unsettle a steady notion of the 'contemporary' or 'new.'"

The event is free and open to the public.

--R.D. Pohl

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