18 oct. 2005

Theory has no value in and of itself. The avoidance of theory has no value either. Bad theory, or good theory badly understood, is worse than no theory, but no theory is usually bad theory. The theorist in the room might be the worst poet or the best poet in the room. The best theory might be disguised as anti-theory. The apparatus--the terminology, the system--is a heuristic at best.

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Thesis: there is more range of stylistic variation in The Hat than in Poetry (Chicago). What would count as stylistic variation? I might think of a given list of poets as more or less the same. For me their differences simply don't count. But what is to be argued is precisely what differences are taken to be significant. I see a huge variation of tone and technique within "New York School" poetry, but can imagine someone from the outside viewing it as all the same.

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I am learning a lot from my ongoing collaboration with Tom Beckett. About why I am a good and not so good collaborator. I am good at writing my parts of the collaboration, of coming up with good ideas in response to what the other person does. Why I am not so good might take longer to explain. In brief: I am uncomfortable with the loss of control.