Feng Chen on Feng Chen.
A review of Feng Chen’s Pangur Ban Party e-Book: Arcane Carnal Knowledge
by Feng Chen
My reading of Feng’s Arcane Carnal Knowledge is psychic nonsense. The way the poet aims towards the inhuman is more of an ethical question. With Arcane Carnal Knowledge, she believes that equality is only possible on the level of “pure” being, or flesh being. We’re all, in the end, senseless lumps of meat. Once any concept of humanity or human being enters, some kind of structure and violence (shapes, relationship contingency, hierarchy, competition, i.e., world) enters, so the drive towards chaos and thoughtlessness is “reactionary” and “unproductive” or destructive, but it’s more like contradictory and autoimmune. It is not pitiless. The poet feels so much pity for people that she does not think people should exist, but she loves people too much to want that to happen. It’s very Buddhist. But that was mostly unrelated to Arcane Carnal Knowledge, which has a kind of bitchy attitude. Regarding the text itself, sensible nonsense is fun to read.