Email me at jmayhew at ku dot edu
"The very existence of poetry should make us laugh. What is it all about? What is it for?"
“El subtítulo ‘Modelo para armar’ podría llevar a creer que las
diferentes partes del relato, separadas por blancos, se proponen como piezas permutables.”
That was my experience too, for a long time, until recently. I'm coming to prefer them to single-author books, actually -- some very fine journals out there now.
Maybe because you're an editor, you read an issue of a journal as though it were a work of art in itself rather than simply a hodge-podge of material.
I've been turning over your remark about Mathys's book -- the "that's not how I'd do it" feeling. I wonder if that feeling doesn't come in several flavors: questioning competence, disliking the subject matter, not recognizing the approach or the private beliefs that are playing out in the style, being all too familiar with the approach and private beliefs...For sure I'm a competitive journal reader. I'm backing away from your insight that I take other journals as a gestalt, though -- I mean, it makes sense, but at some basic level I *do* still experience journals as hodges-podge, as ragged unities. You could say I'm a rag picker?
I would never say Mathys is incompetent. I like his "subject matter" but felt he had some (unquestioned?) poetic habits taken from dominant models. Things that I literally said to myself: no, don't do it that way! Of course that's his choice and I'm sure a lot of other people will like it. I feel the same way about many poets, Clayton Eshleman or Dale Smith. They are poets who are serious and worthy of respect, yet I feel I can't trust their aesthetic judgment.
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