Archives for posts with tag: Christ what an asshole

I must admit that I am completely flummoxed by this article. The following paragraph, in particular, confuses me:

If classical Chinese poetry is going to reinvigorate English anew, though, it will need to come to terms with Ezra Pound’s Chinese, and what his translations and poetry did for poetry and translation, as well as for our understanding of China. Pound was a fascist and anti-Semite and translated from Asian poetry without knowing the language in question, so it makes sense that an uneasiness would come from both curmudgeonly specialists in Asian literature repeating the Arnold line of displeasure at his inaccuracies, as well as from Newman-like purveyors of poetic taste who’d rather deny that Pound’s contributions to English have anything to do with his representations of other cultures. Some might even imply that the discursive style into which East Asian poetry has been translated since Pound only reveals the racism behind the enterprise of translating Chinese into English (how many times was Pound mentioned, for instance, as paving the way for “Yi-Fen Chou” and Calvin Trillin’s New Yorker poem?).

I happened to run across the phrase “cultism and aesthetic compromise with the representatives of oppression” this morning; possibly relevant here.

 

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Has this ever happened to you?: I had a brief white-knuckled interlude today in between realizing with head-splitting clarity that a particular long-ago acquaintance undoubtedly blogs and locating the blog in question. I was relieved to find nothing little of great practical concern there, just the small stuff of everyday buoyed along on a deep undercurrent of putrescent bile. I think the tone of the thing has given me an angle on a project I’d been struggling with, though, so that’s nice.

On the topic of memoir again:

Thoreau could stroll from his cabin to his family home, in Concord, in twenty minutes, about as long as it takes to walk the fifteen blocks from Carnegie Hall to Grand Central Terminal. He made that walk several times a week, lured by his mother’s cookies or the chance to dine with friends. These facts he glosses over in “Walden,” despite detailing with otherwise skinflint precision his eating habits and expenditures. He also fails to mention weekly visits from his mother and sisters (who brought along more undocumented food) and downplays the fact that he routinely hosted other guests as well—sometimes as many as thirty at a time. This is the situation Thoreau summed up by saying, “For the most part it is as solitary where I live as on the prairies. It is as much Asia or Africa as New England. . .”

Worth reading the whole thing–it’s absolutely hilarious.

Just finished Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections; it’s a mess. He’s a reasonably good writer (despite some forced humor and a tendency to lose the thread of the narrative in a quagmire of minutely described action). But what he writes! Christ, what an asshole.

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