Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
i never knew what time it was

i never knew what time it was

david antin
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: 1
Pages: 186
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    i never knew what time it was
    Book Description:

    In this series of intricately related texts, internationally known poet, critic, and performance artist David Antin explores the experience of time—how it's felt, remembered, and recounted. These free-form talk pieces—sometimes called talk poems or simply talks—began as improvisations at museums, universities, and poetry centers where Antin was invited to come and think out loud. Serious and playful, they move rapidly from keen analysis to powerful storytelling to passages of pure comedy, as they range kaleidoscopically across Antin's experiences: in the New York City of his childhood and youth, the Eastern Europe of family and friends, and the New York and Southern California of his art and literary career. The author's analysis and abrasive comedy have been described as a mix of Lenny Bruce and Ludwig Wittgenstein, his commitment to verbal invention and narrative as a fusion of Mark Twain and Gertrude Stein. Taken together, these pieces provide a rich oral history of and critical context for the evolution of the California art scene from the 1960s onward.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93829-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. by way of a preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
    david antin
  4. the theory and practice of postmodernism a manifesto
    (pp. 1-10)

    about two years ago elly and i decided we needed a new mattress or maybe elly decided it because i didnt pay much attention to the problem

    we had an old mattress wed had it for years and the salesman wed bought it from had assured us it would last us a lifetime and it was getting older and lumpy or lumpy in some places and hollowed out in others and i just assumed it was part of a normal process of aging it was getting older we were getting older and wed get used to it but eleanor has...

  5. california—the nervous camel
    (pp. 11-37)

    the reason i was asked to talk here is obviously that im not a native californian so i must have a clearer view of california coming from three thousand miles away and theres a certain justice in supposing this because its very hard for fish to get a clear view of water while if youre a land dweller and come into the water you experience it somewhat more sharply than if youd always lived there

    but ive been living here for a long time i came to california back in 1968 after staying away from california for a long time...

  6. café europa
    (pp. 38-47)

    that little tune you played at the beginning the little dance it seemed as if id heard it before a little french dance played on a solo guitar pretty much the way you played it it haunted me throughout the readings it reminded me of something something i couldnt quite remember and now i remember it its the same tune that haunted a movie i saw many years ago a beautiful french movie that was made after the war the second world war

    but we used to

    call it the war because we grew up in it and it seemed...

  7. talking at blérancourt
    (pp. 48-60)

    someone asked me once a simple question an absurdly simple question and i gave an absurdly simple answer whats an artist he asked and i said somebody who does the best he can by now ive said this so many times ive begun to believe it because when you think about it there are very few people in this world that do the best they can

    you know if general motors makes a lemon of a car its your problem but if an artist makes a lousy artwork its his problem or her problem so it turns out that artists...

  8. the noise of time
    (pp. 61-79)

    i suppose most people know that when i come to a place i have a bit of difficulty trying to say precisely what im going to be doing so i dont start with large introductions but as usual ive got a number of things on my mind when i go places and i think about them out loud in public and because what im doing is entertaining ideas not people im quite happy for people to feel free to get up and leave whenever they stop finding this entertaining and thats how i know im a poet not an entertainer...

  9. i never knew what time it was
    (pp. 80-106)

    you probably wonder why i gave this title to a piece since im generally known for not knowing precisely what im going to talk about my titling has often been accomplished by other people calling my talk something ahead of time and i say that sounds interesting maybe ill talk about it but this time i knew i was going to share a program with eleanor and its very rare for me to be on a program with eleanor who i know very well ive watched her perform so many times but one of the things i know best about...

  10. time on my hands
    (pp. 107-131)

    of course everybody is always dealing with time in some way or another so was i this morning

    in fact the whole idea of coming and talking at ten in the morning was already committed to an engagement with time since i was coming from san diego to talk at ten in the morning and ten in the morning is quite early to make a trip up to mcbean parkway when youre coming from san diego it used to be faster to come to mcbean parkway and then it was slower to get to mcbean parkway and then it got...

  11. how wide is the frame
    (pp. 132-149)

    i was taken by the mention in jorie grahams poem of michelangelo pistoletto because many years ago back in 1969 i was putting together a show of post-pop painting that included a number of artists like estes and alex katz malcolm morley and sylvia sleigh with a few pop painters like wesselman and lichtenstein and warhol and i wanted a pistoletto for the show this was 69 and i was beginning to think that we had to take another look at representation because somehow the frame of the art worlds serious concerns seemed somewhat narrow to me and at the...

  12. what happened to walter?
    (pp. 150-169)

    i came here with something on my mind something ive been thinking about for a while and thinking about it i havent been able to resolve it its a question thats been addressed by a lot of people whether there is such a thing as repetition and how we should think about it if there is such a thing and even if there isnt

    now ive thought about it a number of times which already suggests there is such a thing but its an old problem that goes back a very long time in european thought if you consider turkey...

  13. endangered nouns
    (pp. 170-176)

    the other day i looked out the window and saw a bird with a black head walking upside down along a branch of the honeysuckle bush outside our dining room it was a familiar bird but strange its black cap its queer way of walking head down along the branch were familiar but its color was strange i had never seen a brown bird with a black cap that walked like that not here in southern california northern san diego but it reminded me of another bird i knew very well from winters in upstate new york of a different...

  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 177-177)