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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...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Although I decided to become an expert on poetry, I read a lot of fiction. With my first asthma attack I spent all night reading Chaim Potok. I read all of Updike and Bellow, and Roth. All of Vonnegut. I read Lord of the Rings every summer until I didn't want to read it any more. I read Robert Penn Warren's The Cave multiple times. When I learned Spanish I read almost all of Galdós. I've read every Borges and García M. short story, every Cortázar short story. Novels by Vargas Llosa. I re-read Catch-22 over and over.

Much later, I went on an Elmore Leonard binge.

At a certain point fiction did not interest me much any more. There are only so many New Yorker stories or Great American Novels you can read.

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