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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, July 11, 2016

Here's how I get myself in trouble

I had an idea today for a "popular" book. It would be a book taking as its starting point Lorca's idea that the poet should be "a professor in the five bodily senses." It's an intro to poetry, but coming at it from the opposite view of hermeneutics and new critical "analysis." The first chapter is called "the audiovisual professor." It would be pure Mayhew, channeling what I know of Lorca, and taking as the starting point my essay on teaching receptivity through Lorca.

It would have a chapter on memorization, say; a chapter on visuality, on performance; on translation. The premise is that poetry is a visual and performing art, not a way of encoding secret messages on the page. Interpretation (what does the poem mean?) would come at the very end. Analysis would be more like the way a piano player would listen to what another player is doing so she could do it herself. Finally, ideology would come as kind of final horizon. Ideology in poetry is not the ideology of the poem or poet, but the way in which it is situated as a genre in the cultural field. In other words, a certain kind of orality, or visuality, or linguisticality, gets associated with a certain position vis-a-vis cultural hierarchies.

It would not argue specifically for my kind of poetry, but it would kind of be obvious what kind of poetry it favored implicitly.

It would be popular in style and accessible to your grandmother.

This is how I get myself in trouble, since I have more on my plate already than I could ever finish. This is how I get myself in trouble.

This is how I get myself in trouble.

5 comments:

Bob Basil said...

You need to write this book, Jonathan. With its absence the universe now aches Sorry!

Jonathan said...

Yes. I need to avoid the temptation of writing on the blog. This must be a book book, not a blog post book. I was thinking of writing it on a private blog and inviting a few to witness its creation.

Leslie said...

I think it is a great idea. More important than other projects. Dump them for now and write this.

Jonathan said...

That's how I get myself in trouble

Bob Basil said...

I would love to be a witness at the creation of this book. Sign me up!