Recombinant Theory

Recombinant Theory - essays by Joel Katelnikoff

Recombinant Theory is a collection of radical critical essays, constructed by applying cut-up techniques and rigorous formal and conceptual constraints to the complete works of ten contemporary poet-theorists: Annharte, Charles Bernstein, Christian Bök, Johanna Drucker, Lyn Hejinian, Steve McCaffery, Erín Moure, Sawako Nakayasu, Lisa Robertson, and Fred Wah. Unsettling the ways in which we perceive and construct textual meaning, these essays both describe and demonstrate an anti-authoritarian mode of reading and writing, disrupting the academic industry of re-presentation to propose a new practice of critical collaboration.

Joel Katelnikoff (he) holds a PhD from the University of Alberta. His recombinant essays have been published in English Studies in Canada, Canadian Literature, Minor Literature[s], Art + Research, The Notre Dame Review, The Polish Journal of American Studies, and Poetry is Dead and by the Centro de Cultura Digital.

Spring 2021 · Nonfiction · Trade paperback · Editor: Erín Moure

Joel Katelnikoff

Praise for Recombinant Theory

Joel Katelnikoff’s Recombinant Theory reads like it was produced by an hallucinating AI language model fed nothing but Language Poetry, conceptual writing and post-structuralist thought. The difference is that these texts are handmade word sculptures that transform theory into art. The book is beautifully designed and the various remixes are broken up into readable chunks that make for on-the-fly micro-doses of language tripping!

—Mark Amerika, author of remixthebook and The Kafka Chronicles

Joel Katelnikoff’s Recombinant Theory is the book of the future: a manifesto for resistance to authority mixed with a book of light as generative as a cascading perceptual experience. In Katelnikoff’s alphabetic spire of ink, a limitless genre grows, allowing the reader to dwell in freedom and creativity, discovery and invention, the interplay of chance and the worlds of tomorrow.

—Daniel Scott Tysdal, author of The Mourner's Book of Albums and Predicting the Next Big Advertising Breakthrough Using a Potentially Dangerous Method

This book’s proof / that we were there
Before, and in each visit / hallucinating
Eons, wordly, as attempts, only sumps
Each time we said this is new, knowing
It was only so / in its momentality
I dreamed through it / living as leaving
And so will you, after the conferences
Tripped out over the lands brokered,
Caps cupped, steaming the gloss for now

—Ara Shirinyan, author Your Country is Great: Afghanistan - Guyana and Handsome Fish Offices

These are texts from the other side of the author function (where the quick vox jumps over the lazy logos). Joel Katelnikoff spins texts, assembles new utterances that seem to simultaneously speak from the poet permutated and toward this essay (from the French, ’to try’) project, this next text. The pronouns grow dizzy, ‘a vortex of conferences.' Who remains waiting in these words? With a shock, these frankenlines come alive. The textual DNA spliced, reformed AND rewritten into new thinking that could only have occurred through this exact process. In Recombinant Theory, a monster surges forth, a new freedom is sung.

—Gregory Betts, editor of Avant Canada: Poets, Prophets, Revolutionaries and Space Between Her Lips: The Poetry of Margaret Christakos