4 ago. 2006

It strikes me that I am a specialist in contemporary Spanish poetry, but that my own intellectual formation and set of influences is not in the least Spanish--apart from the specific work I did in order to become a specialist in this area. Thus the perspective I bring to the field is completely different from that of a Spanish intellectual--aside from what we might share by virtue of belonging to the same sub-specialty.

This is not a wholly bad thing. Now there are people I know of who are academic specialists in Spain who don't have a firm grasp of Spanish intellectual life at all. I'm not saying that's a good thing. On the other hand I think it's fine to be influence more by Kenneth Burke, Marjorie Perloff, and Roland Barthes than by Carlos Bousoño and Dámaso Alonso. To have grown up reading the New York Review of Books more than Insula.