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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...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Where did the day go?

7:30-10: Worked on article.

10:00-10:45: Walked into campus from new apartment. Talked with chair. Emails.

11:00-12: Theory syllabus. Finished all-important schedule of class meetings.

12-12:48: Lunch and emails.

12:49-1:14: Completed revision of article.

1:15-2: Finished syllabus for Graduate course. Will look at it again before printing another day.
An introduction to literary theory based on the “primary texts,” not introductory guidebooks or “applications” [shudder]. The course will begin with an introduction to hermeneutics, or the nature of interpretation itself. We will continue with theories of language, questions of “validity,” feminism, Marxism, and translation theory. On two days students will choose the readings in order to allow for discussions that are relevant to student interest, or to expand the horizons of interpretation.

A typical day in the course will consist of a student presentation, a discussion of two or three theoretical readings, a “mini-lecture” by the professor, and occasionally a group activity. We will have a short break (10 minutes) at 17:15 or at a convenient stopping point. We will speak in English, Spanish, or a mixture of the two languages whenever it is convenient.

This material is the most important you will read in your graduate career. The point is not just to become a good scholar, but to be an intellectual. In order to do so, you must master a certain number of foundational ideas about interpretation, the nature of language, and literature itself. At the conclusion of the course, you will not only know how to use theory in your own work, but also how various theories relate to one another. Thus you will be able to understand any new theoretical concepts you encounter with the greatest of ease.

2-2:34: Read blogs. Payed bills and managed bank tranfers. Relaxed a bit. So far I've finished an article and a syllabus, set a date for my talk in Iowa, and transacted some personal business. A student assistant dropped off my Higuchi award plaque at my office. Got an email from school district about violent social media threat. Apparently it was at Middle School not High School, so there was no threat to my kid, but still...

You'll notice the only thing I haven't done yet is work on Lorca!

2:35-2:49: ¡Lorca! :::::
Other critics have noted the influence of Lorca on Gamoneda. Jacques Ancet writes:

Dans la voix d’Antonio Gamoneda passe donc à la fois la souffrance d’un peuple dans la tragédie de son histoire, une tradition poétique proprement hispanique mais aussi européene dont les deux figures emblématiques récentes seraient, pour l’une, le dernier Lorca et pour l’autre, Georg Trakl, et la fragilité intense, la rigueur brûlante--violence et compassion--, d’un corps singulier impossible à confondre.
(Froid des limites 9)

In his edition of Descripción de la mentira, Jiménez Heffernan notes the presence of Lorca in this work, along with numerous other writers from Plato to Luis Martín Santos, but does not single out the author of Poeta en Nueva York. In a later essay, however, the same critic compares a passage from Lorca’s Impresiones y paisajes to Gamoneda’s ...
Not bad for 15 minutes, even if it was just transcribing a quote. After all, I had to remember the quote was there, pull it off the shelf, and find it.

2:50: Time to goof off again. Martinis are at 5:30. The Eskimo snow hoax is back! Something about "le dernier Lorca" makes it sound so much cooler than "el último Lorca." Moi, je voudrais écrire un livre sur Lorca en français, ce serait magnifique. Spanish no longer sounds wonderfully Spanish to me, but French always sounds French no matter what it is saying.

3:07-3:29: Back to work. I will order book from the library to be delivered to my office.

3:29-3:49: I ordered some books. Couldn't find two that I know exist. Now I will just read.

3:49: Mess with some subject headings in my chapters.

5:10: Walk downtown for martinis with "poetini" group.

5:30: Martinis!

6:45: Dinner with friend.

After that, I will walk home. Won't drive my car today.

1 comment:

Professor Zero said...

French is not cooler, it is just more closely associated, traditionally, with fun and comicity and magic tricks.