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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...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Antin on Bloom

David Antin is awkward to quote because of his typography, but here are some phrases I will use from title lecture of what it means to be avant-garde:

"but from harold bloom you dont get the sense that theres anything funny about casting allegorical epics with a set of of entities that have names like orc and urthona and oothoon..."
(48)

"now whats extraordinary is not blooms seedy freudianism ... but the object of a struggle / a poetical style or perhaps poetical content / in any case a poetical product / that bloom sees as a kind of commodity over which there is a copyright dispute // this is quite extraordinary and very funny" (49)

7 comments:

Vance Maverick said...

I'm very fond of those remarks too.

About the typography -- usually I feel that he's not doing line breaks, but rather prose with small and wide spaces. The wide spaces function like line breaks in free verse (i.e. delimiting groups of words that are not in general "sentences").

Jonathan said...

I agree about the format, but that doesn't tell me how to cite it. You can't normalize it, you can't treat the spaces as line breaks, the only thing to do is to reproduce its typography exactly, but that seems like a pain when I am quoting his opinions as opinions, not worrying so much about the genre of the "talk poem."

Vance Maverick said...

If you're talking about HTML, there are   and  . Let me try it (hoping Blogger's comment box doesn't eat them):

First phrase second phrase third phrase

The first gap is an em, the second an en.

Vance Maverick said...

And I meant to say, when Antin's lines are broken at the margin, you can't tell whether that was a small or wide space.

Jonathan said...

Right. I don't care so much about the blog, a more informal medium, as in the final book version. It will be a pain to make the publisher respect his typography.

Vance Maverick said...

I wonder how Antin sent them to New Directions -- typescript? If so, are the margins his? Maybe you could do them up in Courier or the equivalent.

There's a sort of unfairness, it occurs to me, in the way he presents his opinions in the talk pieces. He uses all the resources of literature, including those of theater, making the remarks resonate by coming from an engaging persona -- not just by argument as we understand it. But when he's right, he's right.

Vance Maverick said...

I suppose I could go look next time I'm in LA. Not sure I'm that much of an Antinomian.