Thursday, May 26, 2011

Never Explain-your reader is as smart as you are

Bunting again. Good advice, although one might observe, perhaps unfairly, that if your small circle of readers are called Louis Zukofsky, Ezra Pound, and W.B Yeats and later Hugh Kenner, Daniel Jones and Hugh McDairmid, it would be easier to believe this.

How many critics and editors believe the corollary; that the writer is at least as smart as they are? When Hugh Kenner first encountered Pound's poetry, he knew something worthwhile was happening but his highly developed critical skills didn't allow him to "appreciate" it. He didn't chuck Pound's poems in the bin and dismiss them: he accepted the challenge and revised his critical skills until they allowed him to deal with what was strange and new.

Unless the critic, the reviewer, the reader, are willing to do that, any talk of "originality", is meaningless.

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