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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, March 9, 2012

Not Breaking the Chain

I got up at 6:45, drove to St Louis (5 hours), then had a difficult meeting with attorney for two hours. I ate dinner. Then went to see my daughter play in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra (Mozart, Stravinsky, Debussy, Rimsky-Korsokov), from 8-10 p.m. I got back to a place I could actually write around 11:15 in the night. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to break my Seinfeld chain today, on day 41. But I decided to open my document and give it a try. So the chain is still alive. I actually came up with an idea crucial to my project, something I had overlooked until now.

Fortuitously, I got an email from a Spanish friend wanting me to translate a poem by Valente about Lorca. I had forgotten about this poem, but I realized I should incorporate it into my chapter on Valente and Lorca (duh). So I copied it into that document and wrote some notes about metonymy and synecdoche in this poem.

In other words, there are few good excuses for not writing every day. I actually had resigned myself to breaking the chain today, but I didn't. (Or maybe I'm just a freak.)


DESDE Granada subimos hasta Víznar. Vagamos por el borde sombrío del barranco. —¿Dónde?, decíamos. Era el otoño. Los hermanos, las viudas, los hijos de los muertos venían con grandes ramos. Entraban en el bosque y los depositaban en algún lugar, inciertos, tanteantes. ¿En dónde había sucedido? —Lo mataron a él, decía la mujer, pero aquí también mataron a otros muchos, a tantos, a esos que ahora nadie ya recuerda. —Él ya no es él, le dije. Es el nombre que toma la memoria, no extinguible, de todos.

(Víznar, 1988)

From Granada we climbed to Viznar. We wandered by the somber edge of the ravine. --Where?, we asked. It was Autumn. Brothers, widows, children of the dead were arriving with large bouquets. They would enter the woods and deposit them somewhere, unsure of themselves, hesitating. Where had it happened? --They killed him, the woman said, but here they also killed many others, so many, those no longer remembered by anyone. --He is no longer himself, I told her. He is the name taken by the memory, inextinguishable, of all of them.

(Víznar, 1988)

3 comments:

Clarissa said...

As a temporary defector from the Seinfeld Chain, I really admire your tenacity. You are an inspiration to academics everywhere!

nh2k5 said...

I just love Fragmentos de un libro futuro. And this prose. It is linked to a very important branch of Valente's poetic indeed. Can you tell us more about this Valente-Lorca connection you were talking about? It intrigued me a lot when I was trying to read the poem *Fondo* !

stefano pradel

(Please, forgive me for my bad English)

Jonathan said...

Basically, I am arguing that Valente owes more to Lorca than he might admit explicitly.