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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...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Simple Arguments

An argument can be simple, easy to understand, without being simplifying or simplistic. For example, I want to argue that Valente's move toward mysticism occurs by the early 1970s, rather than mostly in the 1980s, as other critics have suggested, and that this fact has certain consequences for the reinterpretation of Spanish literary history. That the shift in his perspective does not involve writing a new kind of poem, but rather in his decision not to write another type (as often). It's not a particularly profound point, and might even seem obvious once I point it out, but it will have implications for the larger shape of my project.

You don't have to be afraid of pointing out the obvious, or even rehearsing knowledge that might seem basic. A really convincing synthesis of existing knowledge can be useful.

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