So, some great new books for christmas:

Allen Grossman, The Long Classroom and How to Do Things with Tears

and Of the Great House

Joyelle McSweeney, The Red Bird

Barbara Guest, The Location of Things, Archaics, The Open Skies

Best American 2002 (curious. Got it for $2)

Edward Dorn, Gunslinger

Octavio Paz, A Draft of Shadows

Aleksandar Ristovic, Devil’s Lunch

Oni Buchanan, What Animal

Eleni Sikelianos, Earliest Worlds

Matthew Zapruder, American Linden

Finished Paz, Grossman’s The Great House, Guest, Ristovic, Buchanan, and Zapruder. Got to get in some good reading before I start teaching next week.

“We live between the productive violence of representation as poetry and the destructive violence of representation as history” (Grossman, “Orpheus/Philomela”)

Grossman idea is keep history as representation and poetry as representation apart. The poetic principle must not enter the actual world. The regulative difference between image and fact. Shakespeare’s Titus shows what happens when the two different types of violence are not kept seperate.

I am not sure I fully understand Grossman’s argument yet. What about historical poetry? Poetry that tries to represent the historical? I am not sure what a fact is? Is history a fundamentally different type of representation than poetry because it’s tries to move in the direction of fact/objectivity whereas poetry moves in the direction of subjectivity? I realize the objective has problems (at least in the humanities. Analytical philosophy and the sciences still try for it), but there has to be a difference between moving toward objectivity and never reaching it and moving toward subjectivity and never reaching it.

I guess the violence of history is kept in check by the violence of artistic representation (the Aristotelian purge idea)?

This Grossman guy kicks some serious ass. I am grateful to Tony Tost for recommeding his work!

I wish I had more time to delve into these new books. Gotta start re-reading Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha for the Irish Lit. class I am teaching spring semester. Gotta also prepare a lecture to introduce existentialism to the freshman.

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