Center For the Arts 
TED Mencken poster

TED/Mencken

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 9:00pm
CFA Hall
FREE!

TED/Mencken is a live recitation rendered breathless through circuitry and interleaved with explanatory digressions in the manner of a TED talk. The text recited and subjected to TEDxegesis is IN SARA, MENCKEN, CHRIST AND BEETHOVEN THERE WERE MEN AND WOMEN, a prose poem self-published by John Barton Wolgamot in 1944. That text consists of 128 stanzas identical in basic lexical form but with changing content drawn from a collection of 1,023 names, many culled from biographical dictionaries of the day. The text became something of an obsession for the writer Keith Waldrop and the composer Robert Ashley, who made a recording of the text recited without an audible breath. In its tumbling together the famous and the obscure, the past and the future, in a breathless turbulence imagined as the present, it now seems like an odd prefiguration of our current insatiable appetite for the momentarily apropos. Of course, it is entirely possible that the text is a “forgery" written by Mr. Waldrop, echoing the confused provenance of the factoids and special offers that clutter our experience.

A World of Arts in the Heart of Connecticut