Distribution Automatique

Friday, August 20

From a
Rain Taxi interview {click here}
with Gerard Malanga

ELP: You've mentioned Duchamp previously in other interviews. How was he an influence on your writing?

GM: Well, Duchamp's influence, which was a very concrete influence, had to do with discovery. Recognizing the poetry in something even if it doesn't have to do with words. The courage of discovery, whether it has to do with language or images or whatever. And the naming of things to a certain degree. If you feel what you're doing has to do with poetry then that's a very valid assumption of how you're creating the work.

ELP: Did you talk about poetry with Duchamp?

GM: Yes--he was the one who gave me the idea of writing a poem without my actually having to write it, i.e., using appropriation. This was in 1963.

ELP: That's interesting because appropriation was more common after that.

GM: Appropriation by the early 1970s was basically the norm, and that was all from Duchamp's influence.