Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Poets and critics

It's hardly a stunning thought, but so much of the study of literature since it became institutionalised has been in the hands of people who don't produce it.

But that probably accounts for the history of the past hundred years.

Borges puts it this way, in "This Craft of verse" Lecture one.

"I have spent my life, reading, analyzing, writing (or trying my hand at writing) and enjoying. I found the last to be the most important thing of all..."

"Whenever I have dipped into books of aesthetics, I have had the uncomfortable feeling that I was reading the works of astronomers who never looked at the stars. I mean, they were writing about poetry as if Poetry were a task, and not what it really is; a passion and a joy."

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