10 oct. 2009

Lorca and Modern Poetry [working title]

Preface

I. Lorca and Modernity. What does it mean for modern poetry, for modernism in Spain particularly, that Lorca is the major figure identified with Spanish modernism? Explore other kinds of paradoxical forms of Spanish modernity in Unamuno, Zambrano.

II. Vicissitudes of the Duende. Explore Lorca's poetics of performativity from the inside out, beginning with a close reading of the duende essay and supplementing it with readings of other of Lorca's lectures.

III. Lorca and Contemporary Spanish poetry. His seeming non-influence on major Spanish poets--but the way in which the same paradox of modernity / non-modernity repeats itself.

IV. Apocryphal Postscript. A revision of my own views, from a slightly different angle. Answer to my critics, etc...

I think it could be a book. I'm conceiving it almost in dissertation style, with three 40-page chapters. Instead of an introduction, I want a very short preface and a first chapter which serves double duty as an introduction and 1st substantive chapter. As with Apocryphal Lorca, it won't be articles first. It will be through-composed rather than stitched together later.

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When I was in my early 30s, I thought I had pretty much arrived. I was publishing in PMLA and MLN. My second book came out in '94, before I turned 35. Someone said once at one of those tenure meeting years ago, about I forget whom, that you have to be 40 to be a mature scholar. I kind of scoffed at that, because I thought I already knew a lot at age 36. Now, though, I realize I didn't know very much. My second peak, which I'm still enjoying, was in my late 40s. I still feel I don't know enough, but that it was precisely by plunging in and learning on the job that I got where I am--writing beyond myself, as it were. It's writing the books that made me erudite.