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This poetry constitutes a kind of ethnography, an ethnography of vacancy, where the collection of materials is more-or-less random. The non-identity of the self cannot ground anything and loses its boundaries in multiplicity, in counting and naming. If this is a nightmare of forlorn empiricism, it is also a peculiar variety of mysticism, the sort that goes on for too long and leaves the individual, undifferentiated among objects, still trying to get back to himself. Therefore the lists: in a pretense to control objects they only emphasize the lack of connection between themselves and the observer. The poems, at one level, fly apart in linguistic parataxis. This may have a certain surrealistic quality at first, but the unconscious seems to have no hand in their ordering, though a psychoanalyst would probably deny it; what yokes the objects together is only a neutral eye, forced to see them. They are funny because they are arbitrary, in the way that heaps of junk are sometimes funny, but that is because we see the incongruity, thanks to our own comfortable sense of order. If we can locate this experience that Kees writes about it would be in Sartre rather than Eliot, and the sickened detachment of Roquentin [central character in Sartre’s Nausea].