22 mar. 2006

Out with Roethke and Thomas, in with Drew Gardner and Apollinaire. Any more vulnerable poets in the list of 100?


My goal was to write one full-length, 5,000 word academic article each month during 2006. This is probably impossible. I've done two so far, finishing one today. The third, which will not be finished by the end of March, exists in four separate versions:

*a learnéd epilogue to Kenneth Koch's "Some South American Poets"

*a conference paper read at the AWP to thunderous applause

*a paper given in the Poetics Seminar, University of Kansas, to the thunderous applause of five people

*a draft of a scholarly article, incomplete and without footnotes and bibliography, hence not very scholarly

And they say conferences should help stimulate research. Well, yes and no. The extra effort of moving sentences around between these four documents is certainly slowing me down.


Charles Rosen points out in the NYRB that you can't make sense of music without advocating for it, and that the refusal to make sense of it is a kind of implicit condemnation. How true this is, and not just of music.


It goes without saying that each article I write should be substantive and excellent, advocating passionately for a particular kind of poetics. Some colleagues of mine in the "profession" refer to a certain kind of publications as "bird droppings." Insubtantial articles scattered here and there.

3 comentarios:

Thomas Basbøll dijo...

This will sound like a rhetorical question, though it's not. "Extra effort" relative to what?

You're an inspiration in any case.


Jonathan dijo...

I am lazy, Thomas Basboll--not about the writing itself, but about the mechanics of it all. Sometimes I'll rewrite a paragraph from scratch rather than taking the trouble to look for an old document that might contain it.

Thomas Basbøll dijo...

I used to think it was laziness. Now I'm not so sure. The answer to the question of why people (for it applies pretty broadly) don't tinker more often with old texts (on the assumption that the truth is just a word or piece of punctuation away) than churn them out "from scratch" (in a kind of delirium) is not, I think, that it is easier to do the latter.