Featured Post

BFRC

I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Family Synergy

My cousin Michael Barrett is doing a concert of Lorca music in NYC in April, with the NYFOS that he directs with another guy.  I saw Michael in Washington this weekend, where he was doing a Leonard Bernstein concert at the Library of Congress.  

***

My brother took me to a bookstore, politics and prose, in DC.  I bought this CD set of Miles and Coltrane. Later, without knowing I had already bought it, he mentioned it to me. He had been listening to it on his phone.  

My latest



I never get tired of publishing articles:
Jonathan Mayhew argumenta que el análisis de la poesía no es ya una disciplina muy popular o recurrida en los medios académicos actuales, sobre todo en los dedicados a los estudios culturales, al considerársele un género elitista que tiene, además, un público reducido. La poesía que en el presente más llama la atención en esos círculos es aquella que reclama una posición ideológica clara, o la que versa sobre asuntos sociales. Se obvia por muchos estudiosos, entonces, un gran corpus de creación lírica que en apariencia no pretende en sí misma atender a o contextualizarse en su momento histórico, sino abstraerse de él. Una manera de sortear el impasse, arguye Mayhew, es enfocarse en la lírica no a través del vínculo temático, sino como expresión de ‘estructuras de sentimiento’, un concepto que toma de Raymond Williams. Así se examina la poesía como un reflejo de la sensibilidad individual, definida en su propio contexto cultural, y justificada por éste. “In so doing, we can see the historical relevance of poetry, even when it is seemingly disengaged from historical currents” (Mayhew, «Adolescence» 126).


La poesía escrita por mujeres, durante la Transición y en sus linderos temporales, is “one of the most significant literary developments of the period” (Mayhew, «Adolescence» 110). Él se concentra en dos poemarios, Baladas del dulce Jim, de Ana María Moix (1969), y De una niña de provincias que se vino a vivir en un Chagal, de Blanca Andreu (1981). El primero aparece motivadopor una nueva sensibilidad a finales de la década del 60, luego llevada a su fruición durante la Transición, pero ya relevante en el franquismo tardío, caracterizada por una orientación política de izquierda, una actitud desdeñosa y mordaz hacia el poder o las instituciones, y un jovial espíritu proeuropeísta. Como escribe Mayhew, el elemento común en los poemas de Moix es su sensibilidad punzante y algo insolente («Adolescence» 133). La suya en las Baladas es una poesía en prosa “cortante y juguetona, con esa libertad expresiva y paralelística propias de lo poético, predominando la función emotiva del lenguaje” (Ortega), donde la seriedad de Moix se esconde detrás de una frivolidad engañosa (Mayhew, «Adolescence» 133). Demuestra poseer una comprensión histórica sofisticada de su propio lugar en la España franquista, a la vez que audacia en su cuestionamiento de la sociedad de su tiempo.


Existe un paralelismo entre las sensibilidades de Moix y de Andreu, explica Mayhew. Los poemas de Blanca Andreu retoman la sensibilidad posmoderna que los novísimos habían anunciado en la famosa antología de Castellet, en 1970. Ciertos elementos comunes con Moix refuerzan la percepción de compartir, hasta cierto punto –separados sus libros como están por unos doce años– una análoga ‘estructura de sentimiento’: la postura ideológica de la adolescente, el uso de técnicas disociativas características de la vanguardia, y la formación de una subjetividad individual por recurso de la identificación ‘mágica’ con referentes icónicos culturales (Mayhew, «Adolescence» 133-4). Falta la ironía y el cosmopolitanismo de Moix, empero, como si la Transición, en 1981 tal vez en su apogeo y en su agonía concurrentes, no coadyuvara a tal liviandad. Habría hacia el comienzo de los 80 en el ambiente una tendencia a ‘normalizar’ el ejercicio poético, tal y como la Transición aspiraba a componer el país después de la dictadura. “Hence, the role [it] envisions por the poet is that of a well-adjusted citizen spaeking to similary situated subjects” (Mayhew, Twilight 35).


Moix y Andreu son importantes voceros y precursoras de sus respectivas épocas, así y todo que sus paradigmas hayan sido efímeros, al evolucionar la poesía escrita en España en las décadas del 70 y del 80 por otros derroteros. Pero esa transitoriedad ilumina también no sólo sus personalidades literarias, sino también el medio histórico, cultural y social que las produce.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

I don't think I understand English any more


As a follow-up to preliminary information collected by Human Resource Management (HRM), and to effectively diagnose the complex issues happening within the Department of X, the College of Y will be taking the next step of an organizational assessment. This process will be facilitated by Z, an organizational development specialist, facilitator, trainer, and coach with experience working with departments, teams, and individuals at the University of K. This organizational assessment, coupled with interviews of faculty, lecturers, staff, and others, will inform a whole systems approach to address existing departmental concerns.  These concerns may entail insights and assistance from Faculty Development, the Office of Diversity and Equity, the College of Y, the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, and HRM. The hope is that a holistic engagement of university resources will shape an environment for transformational change.

 I really don't understand a word of this.  I mean, I understand the words, but not why this would take place just as the school year is over, when people are dispersing here and there, and in response to unspecified "issues." Five separate units of the university are supposed to provide us with "insight" and "assistance." I think we are screwed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The preface begins

In 2018, after publishing two books on the literary reception of Federico García Lorca, it occurred to me that I could write a third one on musical adaptations of his work. A conjunction of fortuitous events brought this topic to the front of my mind: my daughter Julia, then an M.A. trumpet student at De Paul University in Chicago, told me she would playing in a performance of Silvestre Revueltas’s homage to Lorca. Around the same time, my piano teacher suggested that I look at some pieces by Federico Mompou, a Catalan composer who—I soon discovered—had also set Lorca to music. I began to compile a playlist on Spotify, using what I already knew about this topic from my previous research, along with searches on the usual databases. As this list swelled beyond twenty hours, after a few days, my excitement grew. I had given a talk about musical uses of Lorca in 2015, and I touched briefly on other musical topics in my other two Lorca books, but I had not yet seen the potential for an extended study. Nor had I seen my own increasing involvement in music over the course of several years as preparation for writing music criticism.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

LP and flarf

I spent years defending the Language Poets, because I felt their project was valid, that you didn't have to rule it out of bounds, as so many wanted to do.  This was not out of any belief that all these poets were equally good, or that I myself subscribed to those particular doctrines about writing.  I just wanted to defend them because, well, they had some good work that I liked to read. Some of their work doesn't seem so great, in retrospect, but that is inevitable. What I didn't like, in fact, were people dismissing them because they presumably all wrote in the same way, something that was not true at all. Perloff, too, got lots of grief for defending them.

I also defended flarf.  Some of it was because my friends were writing it.  But once again I think I disliked the idiot critiques of it. You can say you don't like it, but you aren't allowed to make idiotic criticisms of it.

Dream of Obnoxious Lorca

There was a well known language poet in this dream, one whom I know from facebook but am not rl friends with.  We were separated by a large geographical distance but somehow got into a real life conversation. I explained my Lorca and music project to him, and he said: "why do you have to work with such an obnoxious poet?"  In the dream I wasn't offended, but instead connected the remark to certain aspects of Lorca I don't like. It felt very liberating, actually.  I won't name the poet here since I wouldn't attribute that opinion to him, since it was actually coming from a part of my self. Why I wanted to exteriorize it like that is anyone's guess. I guess the Language Poet crowd did not have that romantic impulse that admirers of Lorca have had.