29 jun. 2006

While in Spain I looked at this book by Luis Racionero, who I take to be a semirightwing Spanish journalist, called "Los complejos de la derecha" in a bookstore. In the introduction, he describes living in the US in the 60s and being exposed to a whole host of thinkers and writers. What was comical was that Every Single Name was grossly misspelled. Not just off by one or two letters, but something along the lines of "Alain Ginzburg, Thimoty Leery, Jaques Keruack..." It was truly flarf-worthy. Unfortunately, I didn't want to spring for 25 euros to buy the thing, so I can't reproduce the list. I noticed this first when reading Spanish poetry of the 1970s: every French reference was impeccable, but nearly every English reference was mangled.


Halliday is partially right about Vendler's thesis about Ashbery. The example she chooses, John's address to the "you" in "Self-Portrait," is not that typical of his work. He rarely does that sustained apostrophe thing. It is maybe a weak plank to prove her overall thesis about Ashbery's relation to the reader. Yet Vendler's overall thesis is in fact correct. Ashbery does indeed establish a direct line to the reader in a particularly intimate way. Thus Vendler is in fact more correct than Halliday, who is too close (for my comfort) to the "Philistine" reading of Ashbery.

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