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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, June 6, 2016


We used to think that the most desirable quality in a pre-modern work was its modernity. So a work that was modern for its time period, or ahead of its time, or one that spoke to our own current concerns, was inherently valuable. This, too, is a form a strip-mining. Nothing that is not "modern" from the past can speak to us, so we must pick and choose the tiny bit that is salvageable.

I was guilty of this kind of thinking myself. I picked it up naturally from my professors and others who thought in this way.

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