Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On splinters (another installment of... Of Being Quiet)

The continuities are there, just as the discontinuities are unignorable. Only no critics to my knowledge have bothered to suggest the continuities, while the hobbyhorses about "confessionalism," "objectivism," and many other contending "isms" have been ridden into splinters. [...] And in the realm of poetry, no matter how often poets dismiss the work of other poets in the name of their politics, ideologies, jealousies masquerading as principles, these little autos-da-fe, or enactments of faith, fall prey to the same fallacy as the grand historical scheme that identifies history with a chosen people, class, or part of the world. -- Tom Sleigh

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I like you so much it embarrasses me. There are all sorts of good reasons not to like you, except that of not liking you, because I do. How fantastic to feel what we don't want to, and to have an independent heart. -- Fernando Pessoa (unpublished outtake from Book of Disquiet, tr. Richard Zenith)

2 comments:

Jennifer S. Flescher said...

Seems the isms are out in force today...

Though I know these are not your words, dear blogger...

I studied art/art history in college -- it always seems strange to me that the history of writing is not treated more like the treatment of art history -- where everything exists on a constantly evolving continuum of action and reaction... continuity -- of course and collaboration and identification and conversation...

E. M. Selinger said...

My God, I love that quote from Pessoa. Thank you. Off to share it.