16 sept. 2008

I get to write half of the article on Spanish poetry for the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics before the end of the year, replacing the Elias Rivers entry. Encylopedia articles are not highly valued in academia, but I had to make an exception for the PEPP, since that is the one reference book on poetry that every scholar should own.

This provides a good opportunity to work efficiently, organizing the task in manageable segments.

(1) Read all Spanish poetry of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. (Well, at least refresh my memory on some figures of the 18th and 19th.)

(2) Write the damned thing.

Claudio Rodríguez used to say that there was no poetry in the 18th century in Spain. Nothing here to see, folks, move on. What he meant is that the particular kind of emotion one feels reading poetry is simply not produced in such work.

Since you only get to write a sentence or two on each important development, it is kind of an *interesting* task. For example, I would love to get a really *interesting* idea of the Romances históricos of the Duque de Rivas, but the point might be that this work exists and falls into a certain larger trend. I want to write it in such a way as to actually contain ideas. That makes it into an *interesting* kind of game. 6,000 words makes it about the length of a typical scholarly article, but you can't put your own ideas in it so much as a synthesis of what you think the consensus is.

3 comentarios:

Jordan dijo...

Congratulations! I look forward to reading it.

Bob Basil dijo...

What a great gig! I still treasure my beaten-up 1974 "enlarged" edition.

Carlos dijo...

I completely agree with Claudio Rodriguez. If I had to name someone, I'd say Meléndez Valdés, but only if i had to.