Seth Abramson on metamodernism and Shia LaBeouf:
In other words, metamodernism is no longer limited to those genres, like poetry, to which only the effetely academic still pay attention. Sampson Starkweather may publish a book of poems entitled The First Four Books of Sampson Starkweather; thirty-three year-old poet Noah Cicero may cheekily publish The Collected Works of Noah Cicero, Vol. 1; and poet Adam Robinson may publish a collection entitled Adam Robison and Other Poems (mispelling intended), but Americans have not yet returned en masse to poetry as a cultural bellwether. More’s the pity; by framing their collections with titles that earnestly point to the vanity of publishing one’s Art but also the ironies inherent in that vanity (Starkweather’s boast of “four books” comprises only one book, for instance; likewise, Cicero can’t actually publish a compendium of his life’s work in his early thirties, or Adam Robinson access the gravitas of self-titling a collection when his readers suspect the cover sports a typo), these poems are challenging us to reconsider what’s real and what’s not, what’s sincere and what’s ironic. That these books have only a few hundred readers apiece limits the effectiveness of the statement, however.
You can read a (the?) metamodernist manifesto here, credited to LaBeouf:
We propose a pragmatic romanticism unhindered by ideological anchorage. Thus, metamodernism shall be defined as the mercurial condition between and beyond irony and sincerity, naivety and knowingness, relativism and truth, optimism and doubt, in pursuit of a plurality of disparate and elusive horizons. We must go forth and oscillate!
The scholarly article cited by the manifesto (Vermeulen & van den Akker, ‘Notes on metamodernism‘, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, Vol. 2, 2010) is in fact real.
I was hoping, in a Borgesian moment, that a search for it would show it not to exist. If a search could prove a negative.