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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Formative (10): From the Narrow to the Broad

So I have been accused (by myself among others) of having narrow interests. But I have gone from relatively narrow and circumscribed interests to broader ones. So aphorism, prosody, jazz, poetry, Borges, Lorca, New York School poetry, translation theory, crossword puzzles, Latin percussion. That's "all" I'm interested in. But each one of those things opens up entire worlds. It's like Wallace Stevens image of a planet on a table. (The planet is book; it fits on the table.)

The academy tells you you should be interested in: novels, films, popular culture and most especially the sociological and historical themes in novels, films, and pop culture.

I end up somehow very knowledgable about the civil war. Lorca dies at the beginning of it. Unamuno too. Machado at the end trying to escape. Miguel Hernández dies in jail a few years earlier. Gamoneda's most striking poems evoke the early years of the war. The war determines the fate of exile writers. My entire field is defined by the war and its aftermath, then.

2 comments:

profacero said...

Hm, I have always been told my interests were too broad ... and did not realize we were being told to have the interests you list. Perhaps we are, I will have to start looking.

Andrew Shields said...

"The academy tells you you should be interested in: novels, films, popular culture and most especially the sociological and historical themes in novels, films, and pop culture."

It's nice to see that stated so clearly.

You were also the one who made me notice how much those sociological and historical analyses are dominated by the idea of anxiety.