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« Dear Acolytes and Enemies of the late Samuel Huntington, | Main | Medievalists can now be as lazy as Americanists. »

Sunday, 08 February 2009


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Scott Eric Kaufman

People who do bad Joyce earn their ughs.

Vance Maverick


For the Beats, I think "you had to be there". At one time I enjoyed Bob Kaufman, but these days I'd say stick with "Howl" or move on to Spicer, the un-Beat.

Luther Blissett

Parts of *Tropic of Cancer* return us to the vivid, meaty, fast-paced world of *The Odyssey* in a way that Joyce never accomplishes (or, probably, tried to accomplish). He's chatty and locker-roomish in the same way that Homer is when he's describing a fine feast or sacrifice or suit of armor. Miller also, rare among the modernists, actually has a Homeric sense of pace. Much ado is made of the so-called urban speed of modernist writing, but Homer makes it all look plodding and clumsy. Miller at his best gets that speed. But his best is in bits.

And re: beast language, the Rothenberg/Joris anthologies have a lot more of this sort of thing. I don't think Miller fits the bill, but there's a long tradition of ritualistic sound-poetry (Rothenberg's anthology of Jewish experiments traces it back thousands of years) that McClure draws on. I'm not a fan of McClure but I like the ideas behind him. His work confuses cock-n-balls with a truly physical relationship with oral sound/concrete poetry/language.


I agree, poetry centered on the page rather than being left-justified is far more beastly. That's why so many teenage poets center their poems on the page.

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