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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...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More Spain Splain

An elderly Spanish professor (from Spain) (elderly then and now even more so) asked me in a campus visit why I didn't work on Brines instead of Claudio Rodríguez.

I was told by a cretinous guy from Spain that "García Lorca" was invented by American Hispanists.


Thomas said...

Another kind of splainin' is when people tell me my approach to scholarly writing is "naive" or "yeah, in an ideal world that would work!" (Or might work if we were all mindless robots.) As if the approach hasn't been developed through years of actual practice with actual (and decidedly mind-ful) writers living in the real world!

Or when people tell you that "knowledge is power" or "there is no truth, only truths", or that "after deconstruction..." (that's not so common any more), or that facts are socially constructed or the author is dead, or that "now that all human knowledge is available instantly at the click of a mouse..." as if this "game changer" is news and as if no further discussion is necessary.

Thomas said...

But, in truth, I don't mind all the splainin'. If people didn't articulate their minor bigotries there'd be no way to correct them. I think the only proper response to splainin is a proper explanation.

In my seminars, I encourage people to tell me what their gut tells them about writing. It's their gut I'm trying to influence as much as their mind.

I suppose I don't like being judgmental about prejudice, (which is the least appealing thing about that "mansplaining" discourse. Just one uncharitable anecdote after another. One denunciation after another.)

Jonathan said...

Sure. I have suffered very little even when the splaining is obnoxious. I just ignore it usually and have a good anecdote to tell later. Imagine though if it were a persistent pattern which you suffered at the hands of supervisors. And then add a gendered flavor to it. It would be quite wearing.