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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...

Monday, May 5, 2014


I have a friend, living far away from me, and I might have changed details here to disguise the person's identity, but his writing is bland. The subject matter is fascinating, the person knows what he is talking about, but I just find no passion there, no perspective or point of view, aside from "here's some different approaches to this interesting thing." So and so sees an intersection between race and class, or gender and nationality. The writing is formulaic and the conclusions bland.

I regret the way I feel about my friend's writing, and I would never say this personally or publicly, but there it is.

Let me never be bland like that.

1 comment:

Andrew Shields said...

"here's some different approaches to this interesting thing": that's a second-semester approach to scholarship. (The first semester approach is "here's an approach to this interesting thing".)