← Philament 3: Offbeat

A Gesamtkunstwerk for My Brother

Joanna Grant


long and lank [G., f gesamt it was not

his hair lies total +kunst- always like this

along his werk work of once I could

unshaven jaw art.] In the have explained

he knots it aesthetic theory who Rilke was

he braids it of Richard Wagner but now

bedecks it (1813-83), an ideal there are

with rubber bands work of art in no others

and shining things which drama, for him;

chosen for color music, and other he is God

and conductivity performing arts and congregation

they plug him are integrated and archangel

into the mainline and each is and major

where Rilke’s subservient to prophet;

Teutonic angels the whole. is this love then

breathe into him . to profane

the names and Listener 6 Oct. this solipsistic

numbers of 517/3 Whether temple with

all living things Gascoyne saw his the labels and

this music poem in the light dull neutrals

is not for us of a Gesamtkunst- of lucidity, of

creatures of werk I’m not pharmacology?

mud and dust qualified to say. Is it love to

he directs the . rend the veil

leaves in A Supplement to and raze the

tabernacle choirs the Oxford English outer walls?

songs of pure Dictionary, vol. I, Is this love I

light and color A-G. Ed. R.W. ask myself

statues wholly Birchfield. Oxford: as I swear out the

sound the word At the Clarendon warrant?

all words Press, Is this love?

made flesh 1972. This is love.


Joanna Grant is a PhD candidate at the University of Rochester in upstate New York. The inspiration for these pieces came from contemplating the idea of “off-beat:” what it is, has been, or might be. This second piece is somewhat related to the first given that it features another character who is fused with the world, with the powers of the universe. This character, the brother, is more at the mercy of the forces he is deluded enough to think he controls. The form of this piece is another experiment, in which Joanna tries to replicate on the page something of the power of a Wagnerian chord.