22 dic. 2006

Reading Whitman, I hear a lot of Koch there. In other words, I am reading Whitman back through the lens provided by KK's "Geography." And sometimes I hear Vicente Aleixandre of "Historia del corazón" in Whitman too.

I don't hear a lot of Ginsberg, on the other hand. Whitman is all about the balancing of phrases, the echoing patterns of sound and syntax. Ginsberg is after different effects.

Not all long lines are sloppy; not all short lines are taut. Not all long lines are inspired by Whitman.

5 comentarios:

Andrew Shields dijo...

Reading Whitman through Koch reminds me of the wonderful idea of "deliberate anachronism" in Borges's "Pierre Menard, the Author of the Quixote." I believe his example is reading "The Odyssey" as a version of "Ulysses," isn't it?

Jonathan dijo...

I was thinking more of "Kafka y sus precursores." The "Kafkaesque" becomes a quality identifiable in previous literary text, with otherwise no connections among themselves, and only because of Kafka.

Andrew Shields dijo...

I don't think the Kochesque is quite as powerful in that respect as the Kafkaesque (in terms of the range of texts connected), but the Kochesque is definitely an identifiable category!

Jonathan dijo...

I've found the Kochesque in Byron, in Ariosto, in Roussel, in Whitman and Williams, in Kawabata and the Noh theater, in D.H. Lawrence and Herrick. There is a lot of Koch in Shelley too.

What I mean is you hear a lot of Koch's tone in these writers, but you would never make these connections without Koch (well, except for Byron and Ariosto, Lawrence and Whitman.)

Andrew Shields dijo...

That's a pretty broad range of stuff! I certainly did not want to deny that KK was an extremely wide-ranging fellow. Perhaps my point is less about the range of either K than about how the "Kochesque" (like the "Borgesian") is unlikely to enter mainstream language the way the "Kafkaesque" has.