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Armand Schwerner: The Tablets, Part II



Armand Schwerner concludes the 1976 version of his epic poem, The Tablets. A near parody of archaeological-paleographical research conventions, the scholar/translator shifts gears in part two of this two-part series, channeling a more sensual and parenthetical interpretation of the 4,000 year old Sumero-Akkadian texts that he appears to be transcribing. Presented in a great range of forms and procedures, the poem's conclusion is not unlike the introduction: a wavering text that simultaneously exhibits confidence and uncertainty.

Armand Schwerner (1927-1999) was a Belgian-American translator, critic, linguist, and poet. He studied at Columbia University receiving degrees in English Literature, French, and Anthropology. Remaining in New York for his entire career, he is often associated with the poets and playwrights of that era, particularly with the off off Broadway company, The Living Theater. In the 1980's the group staged a number of performances on The Tablets. Schwerner often collaborated with Jackson MacLow and writers of artists' books.
 

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