Daniel Tiffany is the author of five books of poetry and literary criticism, including Toy Medium: Materialism and Modern Lyric (named one of the "Best Books of 2000" by the Los Angeles Times) and the forthcoming Dandelion Clock. In addition, he has published translations of works from French, Greek, and Italian. His poems have appeared in Tin House, Boston Review, and the Paris Review, and his critical essays on poetry and poetics have been published in Critical Inquiry, PMLA, and Modernism/Modernity. He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Karolyi Foundation in France and been the recipient of a Whiting Fellowship. He teaches at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Tiffany argues that the ballad revival—the earliest explicit formation of what we now call popular culture—sparked a dubious but seemingly irresistible flirtation (among elite audiences) with poetic forgery that endures today in the ambiguity of the kitsch artifact: Is it real or fake, art or kitsch? He goes on to trace the genealogy of kitsch in texts ranging from nursery rhymes and poetic melodrama to the lyric commodities of Baudelaire. He scrutinizes the fascist "paradise" inscribed in Ezra Pound’s Cantos, as well as the avant-garde poetry of the New York School and its debt to pop and "plastic" art. By exposing and elaborating the historical poetics of kitsch, My Silver Planet transforms our sense of kitsch as a category of material culture.-- Helen Deutsch, University of California, Los Angeles