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Posted: 03 May 2012 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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It’s not much of a hoax. There are plenty of examples of great fiction produced by fictitious “authors.” I don’t see how this is any different (except maybe it wasn’t “great").

Now you may criticize Max Harris for lauding bad poetry, but nailing him for being hoaxed is a bad rap.

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Posted: 03 May 2012 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I think it’s uncontroversial these days to say that some of Malley’s work, or “work” if you insist, is quite good, and yes, Harris got a bad rap.

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Posted: 07 May 2012 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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The hoaxers were initially delighted until it spiralled out of control and they were completely mortified when Harris was prosecuted for publishing obscenity perceived in their “poems”.
My point was that poetry journals might need peer reviewing, too, though many others who read Angry Penguins were taken in including literary critics. It was a cruel thing to do to a very young Harris, however, a man passionate about free-verse poetry (like playing tennis with the net down, as someone once defined it, and as easy).
Which other lit hoaxes exposed editors’ failings in this way?

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Posted: 07 May 2012 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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My point was that poetry journals might need peer reviewing, too

I hope you were joking.

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Posted: 07 May 2012 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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My point was that poetry journals might need peer reviewing, too

Yes, but I’d hesitate to call it “peer review.” It serves a different function. It’s an editorial/aesthetic judgment rather than a review of methodology and data. (I’m assuming you’re talking about journals that publish poetry and not those that publish literary criticism, which do require peer review.)

free-verse poetry (like playing tennis with the net down, as someone once defined it, and as easy)

It is true that anyone can dash off crappy free-verse poetry, but to do it well can be more difficult than using a rigorously structured form. Or at least it is just as challenging, only requiring a different set of creative skills.

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Posted: 08 May 2012 07:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Yes, Eliot vs the Malley hoaxers. Pound? Wallace Stephens sounds great but his meaning is very elusive.
Thomas Chatterton fooled a few briefly with cod medieval verse.

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Posted: 08 May 2012 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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We’ve been over the Malley “hoax.” Creating a fictional persona for an author is a tried and true literary conceit, not a hoax.

I’m not sure what Pound or Stevens have to do with this. Just because an individual doesn’t get or like a poet’s works doesn’t mean it isn’t good.

And Chatterton was eighteenth century. Long before the modern literary press arose. Trying to pass of a modern poem as a medieval one would fall into the hoax category, and poetry journals today don’t publish such stuff. Any “found” poetry would appear first in a Lit Crit journal, and you can be damn sure that the manuscript would be checked. (You might be able to get away, for a short time, with the publication of a forged medieval poem by an anonymous or very obscure poet, so long as you didn’t trumpet it as great or of earth-shattering importance. But someone will eventually get around to checking the manuscript, and the more you hype it, the faster that checking will be.)

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Posted: 10 May 2012 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I was just suggesting Pound and Stephens as sometimes possibly problematic free-versers after your defense of the tennis with the net down definition which of course I don’t subscribe to in all cases.
And I was more interested in the merit of the Rowley poems and to what extent they worked, especially considering Chatterton was 17 when he killed himself. Should his efforts be taken seriously in their own right? http://www.exclassics.com/rowley/rowl36.htm. Maybe medievalists resent his imposture.

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Posted: 10 May 2012 01:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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I was just suggesting Pound and Stephens as sometimes possibly problematic free-versers

I don’t understand what you mean by this.  Could you cite particular poems of theirs that you find problematic?

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Posted: 11 May 2012 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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This. It could be my failing but I’d need to be taught this poem or use a crib to understand it as fully as LH would without these aids. I like Stephens and this works unequivocally for me. Maybe I need to take evening classes.
You could say this is true of most modernist poetry especially Pound - nothing wrong with obscure allusion, incomprehensibility, and experimentation, of course, except the game is sometimes not worth the candle. This was the point the Malley hoaxers were making. I wonder what they’d have made of Allen Ginsburg.

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Posted: 12 May 2012 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I understand what you mean, but I hasten to say that I don’t “understand” any more than you do (except in places like the heavily historical parts of the Cantos where I’ve looked up a lot of allusions, though that doesn’t really have to do with the poetry as such); it’s just that I don’t care very much about understanding in that sense.  To quote the long-forgotten Eden Phillpotts, “A nymph who lives beside this waterfall taught me to dance, and since she spoke in poetry, I know poetry when I hear it. But that is all the cleverness I have.” I don’t know what Stevens was trying to “say” in that poem, but I know I love lines like:

There was the cat slopping its milk all day,
Fat cat, red tongue, green mind, white milk

And surely, however repellent or impenetrable you may find much of what Pound wrote (and he was the very definition of “uneven"), you can appreciate poems like ”The Return” or ”The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter.”

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Posted: 12 May 2012 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I haven’t read much of Pound’s poetry, so I can’t say much about it, but I have looked extensively at his edits to Eliot’s “The Wasteland,” and they are brilliant. Pound took Eliot’s total mess and distilled it into greatness. It may still be impenetrable, but it’s magnificent in its impenetrability. Based on that, I can’t imagine his own poetry being “problematic” or facile.

(That said, he was evidently, like Eliot, an odious person.)

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Posted: 12 May 2012 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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That said, he was evidently, like Eliot, an odious person.

That’s a pretty simplistic approach to people.  He certainly had odious ideas, which had as far as I know zero practical impact on the world (except to get him locked up for years); he helped a great many people, including Frost, Joyce, Zukofsky, Basil Bunting, and others considered important writers, in both practical (giving things they needed) and career-furthering ways.  I hate that kind of blanket dismissiveness based on politics.

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Posted: 12 May 2012 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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That was the subtext to my adding parenthetical comment. Pound’s political views, which I’m sure were in the minds of many reading this thread, do not negate his poetic talent.

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Posted: 12 May 2012 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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But “odious political views” does not equal “odious person.” That was the text to my comment.

I mean, I’ve had relatives with odious political views, but I’d have vigorously objected to anyone calling them odious people.  They were good people who’d give you the shirt off their back; they just had bad politics.

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