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Dreams are confused, yet men seek clarity there Oracles speak with twisted tongues; men trust them and do not despair From confusion--do...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Motherwell and Kerouac

I had an interesting conversation about Robert Motherwell with a brilliant friend, a poet and art critic who actually knew Motherwell. Anyway, I realized I couldn't justify an entire section of a chapter on Motherwell, after talking to him. The sense was the Motherwell was better than people thought he was, so I couldn't offer a critique that was mostly negative. I will now condense that section and merge it with the rest of the chapter more seamlessly.

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Somehow the topic drifted to Kerouac and Clark Coolidge. I realized that my reading of Kerouac was filtered through Coolidge's having been influenced by K. It was a kind of filter, so that I could love Kerouac as Coolidge's precursor, rather than as the Bohemian stereotype. But, of course, I get that from talking to Ken Irby too. There is a kind of "poet's Kerouac." We take him seriously as a writer, not for his ostensible subject matter alone, or for clichés about him.

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Isn't that what I'm doing with Lorca too? Rescuing him from the stencil? The cliché? It is through the workings of influence that we see this. The way a subsequent poet filters our vision.

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