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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jumping over the pond (ii) / inventory

I realized when I began to consider moving some of my research interests to Latin America that I was underestimating my knowledge of this field by comparing it to that of a specialist and even overestimating how much a specialist knows. After all, I even have gaps in my reading of peninsular poetry.

So here would be a good start on figuring out how much I really know. The first category would be poets whose work I know quite well, as well as poets that I've read but not worked on in my own field. The second would be poets that I have some knowledge of, but need to read more extensively. The third would be names that are mostly just names to me still.

(1)

Pablo Neruda
César Vallejo
José Lezama Lima
Octavio Paz
Eduardo Milán
Coral Bracho
Eugenio Montejo
José Barroeta
Blanca Varela
María Auxiliadora Álvarez
Borges

(2)

Oscar Hahn
Enrique Lihn
Rubén Darío
Nicolás Guillén
Enrique Adolfo Wesphalen
César Moro
Juan Gelman
Cisneros
Huerta
Rojas
Zurita
Peláez
Huidobro, etc...

Once I start to make the list I realize that 2 is a rather amorphous category and 3 even more so. The trick would be to move some figures in the first group to the category of "poets I have published on" and move some of the names in (2) up to (1).

What really makes someone a Latin Americanist, however, is a broad knowledge of the culture and history of regions (Andean, Southern Cone, Carribean, Central America) and / or nations (Mexico, Peru, Cuba, Argentina). I'm hoping that as I study poets I also deepen my knowledge of an entire continent, as well as a few archipielagos.

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