17 jun. 2005

How about a blog just for reviews? Obvious conflicts of interest would be prohibited, such as husband-wife, publisher- publishee, best friends, arch-enemies, teacher-student, parent-child. It could come out in a weekly edition. Every book reviewed would get at least two reviews, and the reviewee would get the right of response. To avoid endless debates, there would be no comment boxes, and the reviewer would always get one response to any author's response. After which debate would be arbitrarily cut off. The motto would be "tough but fair." This is not for simply puffery or for gratuitous snarkiness.

4 comentarios:

Nick Piombino dijo...

For this to elimnate conflict
of interest, I think poets who
have themselves published
a book, or even a poem, should
not be invited to publish reviews. No
publishers either.

This would be much more
interesting and fair.

JWG dijo...

and there would be no reviews. Who do you think reads these blogs?

Nick Piombino dijo...

Poets think this when they
are unwillint to trust their readers.

Why not have a review blog
that invites only readers of poetry,
not writers to contribute. It may
take a bit of time to get it going,
but I think it would be a good
idea. It will show that we are inviting readers
to join our circle (we need them!)
and will provide feedback that
is less "conspiratorial."

In the present circumstances, poets
tend to form exclusive circles or
teams. This is natural for sports-
oriented people. Then these teams
can try to control the impression
of public opinion; much
like the Republicans do now.

Lets take Ohara's manifesto seriously
and have a real Personism. Let the
readers speak out!

Jonathan dijo...

You can start that one yourself, Nick, if you feel so inclined. I don't want to dismiss your idea.

Would these readers end up being academics? Reviewers who aren't poets still end up playing for a "team." (Vendler & Perloff like the Red Sox and Yankees.)

Novelists and artists could do poetry reviews. But then they might still choose their poet friends. Tell me when you come up with your ideal disinterested reader that's doesn't end up being the husband or cousin of a poet.

I wouldn't want to travel back in time and say Pound shouldn't have given Frost his first significant reviews. O'Hara on Kenneth Koch. The plain old readers can take longer to catch on. Poets writing about poets have produced some of the best writing imaginable. WCW on Stein, Creeley on Olson, Bernstein on Silliman, Coolidge on Kerouac. I think I could write intelligently about those on my "team," as well as about those whose work I appreciate who play on other "teams." Look at Jordan Davis reviewing Franz Wright. That's a positive model to follow.