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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pink Looks Good on You

Go to minute 8 of this video. An eldery woman walks by Seinfeld and another comic sitting in a coffee shop and says "Pink looks good on you" to Seinfeld, who is wearing a pink shirt. Then the two comics react, finding it quite wonderful. The way the line is delivered, the timing, the character. As I was trying to remember it I went through possibilities in my mind. "You look good in pink." No, that's not it... "That pink shirt looks good on you." No. Only one version of the line is perfect, so I watched the video again to find the exact way.

I noticed it because they noticed it. They were attentive. "Be someone on whom nothing is lost." That's a motto from John Ashbery, but it applies to this situation and to scholarly writing.

***

I decided to scrap the "agenda for Lorca" studies as my conclusion for the book. Telling other people what to do is not really my strong point. I will put my bit about literary theory 101 in the introduction (where is already is), and do something else for the conclusion: "Elegy for Modernism." What I'll do is to tie together the elegiac threads I've discussed in Lorca and poets influenced by him into an elegy for modernism itself. Atar cabos. That's what a conclusion should do. Don't summarize every chapter in the order they appear, but tie together the loose ends and create something new that logically flows out of the book. That's the difference between the book I want to write and the book someone else could write, maybe someone else smart as I am but who doesn't sweat some of the details that for me make all the difference.



2 comments:

Leslie said...

Elegy for modernism is a *great* idea and it will also help figure out that vampire César Vallejo.

fjb said...

"Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost!" is from Henry James's -The Art of Fiction-. (I thought it was Susan Sontag before I looked it up.)