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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, April 25, 2014

Formative (5)

So far we have

*religious education (rejected)
*academic family, with easy access to books and libraries, encouragement
*intense periods of self-directed study
*languages & study abroad

My dad wanted me to go into classics, I'm not sure why, but I always wanted to study modern literature. I am also interested in other periods, so I could have done medieval or baroque (though not 18th or 19th century).

My writing of poetry was also formative, but at a certain point I came to an impasse. A lot of poets did not seem smart enough, frankly. Of course there are poetic geniuses, like Claudio R. or Lorca, but a poet seemed to have to rely too much on pure ego. If you are poet, but you aren't actually a good one, then you are really more of an arch-enemy of poetry, so that seems a contradictory kind of existence. I wanted to write the poetry I wrote, but without making my professional identity dependent on that in the least, or even less have my ego depend on how talented I was (or not). My strictly amateur approach does not mean I write bad poetry, or don't take it seriously, but that I have enough respect for it not to make any claims for myself.

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Next: the dissertation.

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