13 may. 2011


We tend to see reality through stencil views, through stereotypes. It is hard to see things as they really are. In literature, the tendency is even greater, because of the subjectivity of response and the vagaries of memory. Think of a writer you really know well. Ok, now define the stencil view, like this.

O'Hara: casualness, didn't care about his poetry that much.

Ginsberg: Howl. Made a big scandal. Some drugs and Buddhism.

Dickinson. Weird punctuation. Reclusive eccentric.

Now compare your complex vision with the stencil. If you really know anything at all your vision will be far more complex than the stencil, so much so that the stencil will actually be wrong, the opposite of what you really think.

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