"... with the internet, the necessary leisure and space required to pontificate or noodle about in an ostensibly literary way is available. In fact, it’s sandwiched in between factoid ranches, stand-up routines and throw-away lines masquerading as ad-hoc journalism, and all manner of fortified compounds where goods and services may be purchased, or talked about in such as away as to resemble an actual lifestyle. That’s it: the internet makes talking into a lifestyle. It used to be that you had to go to some kind of retreat, consciously display some kind of apparel or equipment, or in fact have certain characteristics in order to belong to a lifestyle, as it were (“I am my lifestyle, and my lifestyle is mine!”), but now everything is communal. Your quip, your predilection for Orson Scott Card novels, the holographic detritus of your trip to Niagara Falls (does anyone ever go to Niagara Falls anymore?) is a small cataract of a vast extroversion that pours invisibly into the computer screen and splits prismatically and instantaneously into thousands of virtual spaces, mirrored and Xeroxed and refracted endlessly through search engines, aggregators, blogs, hyperlinks, etc.
And it doesn’t feel to me like poetry is very different in this respect, than, say, knitting. Partly because it is impossible to place a wall around it in the way one did in the old days, when you had Gentlemen’s Clubs, or country estates, or Masonic Lodges. Generally (although this is less and less the case), the only thing sequestered about poets is their words, which exist in a printed space that ranges from obscure to almost totally occluded and invisible to the naked American eye. Perversely, this seems to me to render literary performativity even more of a thing apart from the work itself, though it may be that this is no more true than it was 10 or 20 or 50 or 100 years ago. The only difference is now that we have the virtual equivalent of a shopping mall, instead of the frangible Rosetta Stone of a newspaper or lecture hall." -- Excerpt of Simeon Berry's response to my recent Harriet post on poetry and privilege, via the Ploughshares blog
MEANWHILE... Though I'm reluctant to yoke it to the knitting analogy above, the question of "masculinist agression" in the po-blogosphere has arisen, so to speak.
Pictured: A contemporary of Harriet Monroe, knitting and smiling