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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...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


My Lorca seminar was being held in the library. I didn't have much prepared so I found some art books and passed them out to my students, without looking at them, and gave them half an hour. I felt a bit guilty about starting late. In half an hour's time, I found them at a long seminar table. They took turns explicating art works they had chosen. Some were actual paintings rather than reproductions, unframed canvases. The students seemed quite knowledgeable about painters I had never heard of. The paintings were hard to see. The last student was explicating something in a neo-classical style out of a book. At the end I didn't really know what to think. I didn't think the class had really accomplished very much, but it was clear that our first meetings had focused on visual art, with no connection to Lorca himself.

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