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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, January 13, 2013

Oddly Specific Dreams

1. I was writing some notes on Frank O'Hara's style. I just made a list of his various styles with examples. Like the quasi-surrealist style of "Hatred," the preciosity of the poems dedicated to Jane Freilicher, the faux-casualness of the "I do this / I do that" poems. I knew if I could keep working I could list at least 10 styles, but it is hard to work like this in dreams.

2. I was in a curriculum meeting of some kind. We had to defend our reading list, which had nothing from the 18th century in Spain, to people from outside of the department. I started arguing with a bearded man who demanded "coverage." I had to explain to him why "coverage" was a stupid word. I think I used the word "stupid." I virtually took over the meeting. I deliberately didn't use the "Enlightenment was weak in Spain" argument because I thought it was weak.

So in my dreams I am lucid and correct in my positions. I continue to do "work" of a certain kind while asleep. For example, I will use those "notes" in my section on Frank O'Hara of a chapter I am now writing. I know I do personal work in dreams in which my ex and my current romantic interest are in the same room with me together.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

"I deliberately didn't use the 'Enlightenment was weak in Spain' argument because I thought it was weak."

So, what argument did you use? I can tell you what I would say: these 1700-present courses were created when the present moment was 1940. Something has to go.

I swear that after this wrenching syllabus making experience I will never try for coverage of modern Spain again. I used to just do 6 representative texts on a theme of some kind and I am going back to that, I do not care. A pox upon everything and especially on those fools who invented the idea of national literature, Volksgeist and all the rest of it, I hope they are happy looking for the last atom of the germ that created their nations in the correct circle of Paradise.