Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New Things

"The accurate representation of reality is, for the artist, the highest morality. It is immoral to conceal the way human beings live, or what human beings think." -- HelenVendler

I sometimes feel like a dilettante. I have read only a portion of the books I should read, and though I write poetry, and read poetry, my first love is short fiction, so I am especially behind on poetry. That's okay. It helps me remain open to surprise. I can still discover things. One of them is this book by Helen Vendler, an anthology and intro textbook to poetry.

It makes me want to read Kundera's essay on Francis Bacon for the first time again, or the same with John Gardner's On Moral Fiction, or Rust Hill's book on writing in general and the short story in particular (I think that's the title but not sure) . . . all books that charged me up at some time and made me think this irrelevant work in my small room was important.

Anyway, just reading this, and children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections, by Renee Sarojini Saklikar. I have notes all over this book, and nothing intelligent to say right now, but it's one of those challenging books that changes the way I approach both poetry and narrative, I think. I'm still trying to figure out how it works, but I know it's related to the Vendler quotation above, and also to Kundera's essay.

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