3 nov. 2009

Someone coming to our Mid America conference on Hispanic Literatures (MACHL) this weekend is going to be talking about Ullán. This is unusual because almost nobody works on him in this country. I also recognized a title of another talk, and looked in my files: I had reviewed this same talk in its article version for a journal--anonymously.

I'm going to be introducing our keynote speaker, the Spanish philosopher Eduardo Subirats, seeing many old friends and making some new ones.

The profession can be very isolating, in that, for instance, my university is not going to hire someone else in my same field just to keep me company. I'm it for Spanish poetry here. It was nice to have Margarita here for a few months, but now I'm back on my own. The good thing is I have conferences in November, December, and January.

We have an expression, "caer en saco roto." Something like "falling on deaf ears." A lot of scholarship in the humanities falls into the torn sack, and maybe deservedly so. That's why the few opportunities for actually having a conversation with someone who's read my work and has actually read the poets I am working on are so valuable.

Since I'm kind of a loner anyway I have to make a special effort to have a wide network of people. When I forget to do this or don't have the energy to travel I suffer greatly. On the one hand, being a loner allows me to work alone and get things done--something that would drive many people crazy. On the other hand, I'm in a situation where most of the people who actually know something about what I'm working on are thousands of miles away, where i can go months in virtual isolation.


Baraka's talking about Barack today at 7 at the Kansas Union. That should be interesting.

3 comentarios:

Jay dijo...

Having easy access to a community of experts is invaluable and, I suspect, might actually encourage insights and discovery.

Your observation on Ullan raised an unrelated question for me: Which contemporary Mexican poets or fiction writers, whose works preferrably (but not necessarily) are available in English and who have escaped popular notariety here, are you most interested in these days? Thank you, and sorry for the non sequitur.

Jonathan dijo...

Coral Bracho.

Jay dijo...

Terrific - thank you.