Monday, February 11, 2008

The cooked and the raw

This blog is always in process. It's impossible otherwise. Always a dance of desire and its limitations, the abstract and its vagueries. One wants to eavesdrop on the raw, and yet, one wants the cooked.

On the one hand Jan Zwicky's Wisdom & Metaphor. "By 'metaphor'" says Zwicky, "I mean the linguistic expression of the results of focussed analogical thinking..." (5) but I have asked before, what good is metaphor if it keeps us grounded in a pre-20th century world? Or, a pre-20th century world without 21st century consciousness?

What does it mean to make concrete a poem? Or to make a concrete poem? Is metaphor implied? Can earthworks be considered concrete poems?

Twenty-five years now since Lyn Hejinian published the influential essay Rejection of Closure. Quite a few since she published Continuing Against Closure. How are we feeling about closure these days?

Jan Zwicky again: "Things are what they seem; but it is possibe for them to seem differently." (79)

"A chronicler must gather details as if they were hard candies," Lyn Hejinan in "From The Distance."

Anne Carson upped her avant garde identity with "String Talks," a reading and multi-media performance at NYU last Friday. Having seen the Gertrude Stein opera that ended up being in Decreation I can guess with some confidence that "String Talks," will be odd and a bit stilted in an intellectually edifying way. And of course I would have been there if I could...

Do people still think "heartfelt" means something?

"What is this is not that; indeed this is distinct, must be distinct, from everything else" (Zwicky 53)

"I came back to the meadow. I could not shake the memory of a train." Elizabeth Willis, Meteoric Flowers.

"A real failure does not need an excuse. It is an end in itself ," Gertrude Stein.

When I ask a poet to describe Canadian lyric poetry what I get in return is an essay by Billy Collins.

Between these poles there is real meaning. I'm sure of it. I'm old fashioned after all.

3 comments:

Yo, Godot said...

Hi, I'll not comment on this but in general: I just discovered your blog and found it cool ("smooth" is a word I would use). I live in Uruguay, I'm a young writer (27 y.) developing ble ble (I will write some other time and some OTHER place rather this public arena. Mi name is Luis. Luis Topogenario. I'm from Nicaragua. So yes, English is not my mother language. But I'm cool with it, although I barely create in English.
I got to your blog actually by a mutual preference: the work of Samuel Beckett. You wrote a post, around 2006, about Woolf and Beckett, and I accidentally "googled" it. I just wanted to introduce myself and write to you, but I feel very uncomfortable doing it here (actually, I would strongly prefer that, after reading this comment, you'd erase it). I ask you if you could provide me with a personal e-mail address (or is mf@ucalgary.ca ok?).
In the post I read, you stated a position about how people regarded Beckett's work. Of course, I need not to say that here in Latin America Beckett's work has practically disappeared from booksstores and the "word of the street". The only thing available is "En attendant Godot". Even publishers have tough times placing Beckett's books (I've worked in bookstores, believe me) to the point that only a tiny amount of works get new editions or reprints.
But that is market. Pure and simple. I belong to a crop of writers -if there can be named a "crop" here in Latin America, that find it difficult to compete against the remainings of magic realism and regionalism. Of course, we don't have minuits and gallimards. Oh, don't misinterpret me: I don't complain. I need no publisher to write. Actually, I need no publisher. I think it was Robert Pinget that said it correctly: "When you don't need publishers, that's when they appear pursuing you. In Uruguay we have Trilce: a nice publisher (I'm "talking" to them right now)......

Uf, this comment has been extended too much. I'll continue later, by e-mail, if you wish. I you wish not, well. Nothing. I'll just read.

seth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
seth said...

oops