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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Dream Book

I often times write table of contents for books that I know will probably not be written. Last night in my sleep and waking up every hour so as not to miss my flight home from the MLA, I thought of a book for a more popular audience on Spanish-language poetry. I started to think of what the chapters would be. I got this idea to choose 5 widely disparate poets from diverse places and centuries and make half the book on them--with the other half being an introduction to topics.

Now I probably will never write such a book, at least not in this form, but I probably will use some of the material I've worked on to write some sort of book. My idea is to write a version for Spanish of something like Jacques Barzun's book on French poetry for readers of English verse. I couldn't do it like Barzun, because of the differences between how French is positioned vis a vis the English speaking reader and the way Spanish is. For example, even though Spanish poetry has been more widely translated than French, I think there is a longer tradition of readers knowing something about French poetry. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think English poets have known more Ronsard or Villon than Lope de Vega or Quevedo.

Also, because I'm no Jacques Barzun.

Anyway, the idea here is to dream up impossible projects and maybe carve possible ones out of them later. Secondarily, not every idea is going to work out as planned.

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