15 jun. 2009

To a large degree the canon I am setting up in this project follows directly in the footsteps to some of the Spanish critics whose work I most respect, like Miguel Casado and Julián Jiménez Heffernan. In that sense i am the American Hispanist working in this field who takes the same line taken by one particular faction in Spain. I didn't intend for this to happen. In fact, my preferences were formed before I knew that this was a faction. It's more a matter of saying that these are my friends because of the kind of poetry I was writing about, rather than vice-versa.


One quote I keep coming back to is by Jameson:

if the poststructuralist motif of the "death of the subject" means anything socially, it signals the end of the entrepreneurial and inner-directed individualism with its "charisma" and its accompanying categorial panoply of quaint romantic values such as that of the "genius." Seen thus, the extinction of the "great moderns" is not necessarily an occasion for pathos. Our social order is richer and more literate, and, socially at least, more "democratic." [...] [i]t no longer needs prophets and seers of the high modernist and charismatic type, whether among its cultural producers or its politicians. Such figures no longer hold any charm or magic for subjects of a corporate, collectivized, post-individualistic age; in that case, goodbye to them without regrets, as Brecht might have put it: woe to the country that needs geniuses, prophets, Great Writers, or demiurges.

Richard Rorty and Marjorie Perloff have quoted this too, I think, mostly in order to take issue with it, as I do. I hate the sneering tone of those scare quotes. The term "cultural producers" is also telling. What happens to a room of "cultural producers" or "creative writers" when a poet walks in the door? Surely embarrassment on all sides. "Creative writing" is a branch of the English department. "Cultural production" is a sector of the economy. Now it's true that a poet might belong to such a department and that he or she belongs to that sector of the economy--almost nobody is free of all institutional ties--but what happens if those definitions become primary. If you refer non-ironically to your manuscript of poems as a "thesis," you are defining this poetry by its function in the academic credentialing process. Nothing wrong with that if it's what you want to do.

1 comentario:

Javier dijo...

I absolutely agree with that.
Best wishes,