Re: Frampton, Brakhage, RE:VOIR

From: marilyn brakhage (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Feb 19 2010 - 20:12:08 PST

On 19-Feb-10, at 3:50 PM, David Tetzlaff wrote:

> I regret you've felt the need to take the rhetorical low road, and
> respond not to my actual comments, but to hyperbolic straw-man
> parodies of my remarks.

I thought I was responding to your comments. However, email
definitely has its limits. Perhaps I entirely misunderstood you. --
Or perhaps you've entirely misunderstood me.
> That is my job, and it is a very different job than Fred's job, or
> Marilyn's job, or Mark's job. But I think it's an important job, and
> I took it very seriously.

I think your job's important too. I certainly never meant to imply
that it wasn't. I know Brakhage (amongst many other things) isn't
exactly easy to teach succinctly.
> I said, and I absolutely stand by my opinion, that I think this was
> the most important of Brakhage's many artistic achievements,

> Now Fred and Marilyn and anyone else may well disagree, but to
> suggest that the perspective I have just stated is invalid or
> idiosyncratic would simply be intellectually dishonest.

I don't think your perspective is invalid or idiosyncratic (though you
did say Anticipation also just 'happens to be your favorite'). I just
happen to have a different position. I acknowledged that there are
some people who would share yours (as well as some who would share
> And so what if Brakhage was only 25 at the time?

Yes, there are many examples of people doing their greatest work in
their 20s. I was simply trying to make the point that this was very
early on in Brakhage's creative output and list of achievements.

> I'm not dumping on his later work

You did seem to be slighting its significance. But again, perhaps I
misunderstood. Or even if I didn't, one could take that position.
It's just one that I'd argue against.

Just as an aside, if ever/ when ever possible, and for those so
inclined: "Anticipation of the Night" (1958) might make an
interesting pairing with "A Child's Garden and the Serious Sea" (1991)
-- as example of a later, more mature vision. . . . Likewise, it's
interesting to compare "Yggdrasill: Whose Roots Are Stars in the
Human Mind" (1997) with "Dog Star Man" (1964). . . . And I'm not
suggesting here that one is any "better" than the other, or that one
could in any way replace the other. Just that there are these great
evolutions (in thought and form) to follow.

(I realize, of course, this was not possible in your particular
teaching situation.)

> the term 'hypnagogic vision'

I think Stan generally used the term, as in "closed-eye vision,"
primarily to refer to the optic feedback that can be seen with eyes
closed -- and also, sometimes, with eyes open, if you become attuned
to it. But certainly Anticipation of the Night is a prime example of
"the development of the optical mind" as he discussed it in Metaphors
on Vision. Later, he also talked about "moving visual thinking" in a
variety of ways -- the fleeting images of thought, and/or the
physiological grounds of mental image-making . . .

I think questions of the larger significance of Brakhage's work is
ultimately something we'll have to leave to future generations to
decide. The classes you and others have taught, and do teach,
certainly make an important contribution to its presentation and

I think the Criterion DVDs will also prove to be a great resource and
important collection for many people.

Really have to sign off for awhile,

> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.