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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...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I'm sure other fields have comparable features, but one thing that strikes me about mine is that I must know vast swaths of material while at the same time paying attention to extremely minute detail about certain parts of this territory. I can't just know the overall map of the territory without knowing specific details. At the same time, I could study small areas of land forever and never get to a point where I had a grasp of the territory.

So I might want to read 9,000 books of poetry, but could also spend an hour or two with a single poem.

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