by Aryan Kaganof
It is worth reminding ourselves why many people think August Highland a great modern poet. The first thing to say is that without him it would have been impossible for the Metapoetics Theatre movement to cohere or become a public sensibility, a symptomatic art for the age. The details of his part in the Hyper-Literary Fiction movement, and the part he played in forming and feeding its views, have been accumulating over the years in which scholars and critics have looked back to San Diego in 1998-2003 as an optimum time of creation.
The moment of the Genre Splice is superluminal.
It arrives before it was sent.
Hyper-Literary Fiction is never on time.
It’s time is a perpetuum mobile of memories of what happens next.
Next-Gen Nanopoetics is Zarathustra’s eternal recurrence, vibrating fast enough for your ears to see it and slow enough for your eyes to hear it.
The prime characteristic of the Genre-Splicer is that he does not tell a story.
The Genre-Splicer creates an emptiness of literature. But this emptiness was already there. It merely needed to be filled. With Genre-Splices the sources of contemporary literature are exposed in their emptiness. What is expelled from the screen page is hysteria, ie. contemporary literature itself.
Hyper-Literary Fiction is never finished.
Genre-Splices always beg the question: when may we begin again?
Each of the Genre Splices August Highland makes is trying to say the whole thing, i.e. the same thing over and over again. It is as though they were all simply views of one object seen from different angles.
The closest Microlinear Storytelling gets to Once Upon A Time is Always Now.
The Hyper-Literary Fiction of value always invokes deja-vu.
Genre-Splicing is addictive.
In a way having one’s writings Genre-Spliced is like eating from the tree of knowledge. The knowledge acquired sets us new (ethical) problems; but contributes nothing to their solution.
Sometimes a Genre-Splice can be understood only if it is experienced at the right tempo. August Highland’s Hyper-Literary Fiction is all supposed to be read very fast.
Hyper-Literary Fiction gazes into abysses, which it should not veil from sight nor can conjure away.
The key to Genre-Splicing lies undoubtedly hidden somewhere in our complex sexual nature.
Hyper-Literary Fiction is ANNIHILATIVE!
The Metapoetics Theatre movement probably reached its most distilled meaning in August Highland’s own career, where the notion of “the hard textimage” did acquire an authoritative centrality, but nonetheless it most certainly offered many essential constituents fundamental to modern Genre-Splicing lore – the free line, “superpositioning”, crack, etc. One thing that can be said in his favour is that August Highland always went in pursuit of a redemptive kinesis.
Aryan Kaganof is an award-winning avant-garde filmmaker, writer and artist living in Gauteng. He is one half of South African Noise duo Virgins.
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