Jennifer Scappettone

LA FAVOLA MOSTRA CHE | of the Monitor's Fight

(after Herman Melville and Giovanni Battista Piranesi)

Arrested by the actuality of Melville's verse - beholding the current of mechanized combat naught but an extension of the logic driving his, few baroque steps further en route to the total banalization of violence, and the evacuation of what Walter Benjamin called "experience that goes mouth to mouth":

To echo such progress and endeavor to de-extinguish such experience, intervention upon the page would have to redouble, not to expunge, Melville's "Utilitarian" diagnosis, no more and no less, carving into the ballad sestets and ghosting determinism in another interior war. The monitor's remove among the trades allows battle space to be reetched to its illogic vis-à-vis Piranezi's "Interiors measurelessly strange": a possible form for Melville's own crossings.