Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Less and Less Scholarly

I'm not so sure Maggie -- your claim for Bergvall sounds suspiciously like the same old claim made for Langpo: that it's more, not less, accessible because it's supposedly more immediate and less referential. One of the things I've found most distasteful about NY readings in the past 10 years is how the more an audience feels it can gloss right through the meaning without losing anything, the better the reading is. As if the less a poem says, the better it is. Really, it's enough to drive me back to Yeats.

I think I'm going to sojourn into experimental fiction. For some reason I'm obsessed with getting hold of Steve Erickson's "Our Ecstatic Days." I got pretty competent at translating Homer by my 3rd semester of Greek in college, but believe me, going to a "Great Books Program" absolutely spoiled the classics for me for the rest of my life. Except for Sappho and the Roman poets. But then, Great Books Programs ignore poetry insofar as Plato was the last word on the subject.

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