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Billy,

It would be fun to take this discussion further, but I don't think you're really putting much effort at all into seeing what I'm trying to say.

For one, I'm terribly confused as to the sense of the word "know" that you are using. No human being can know another but through the medium of the manifest signs, actions, behaviors, etc. that another person makes, and even then, we are confined to interpretation. With that having been said, why should we prima facie exclude the things a person writes, as art, from the court of evidence that a person was this sort of person or that sort of person?

For two, I think you are imputing to my view a much simpler and stupider position that what I'm putting forward. I'm not asking you to psychoanalyze anyone on the basis of their poetry. What I'm saying is more like, after carefully reading a number of an author's works, you will unavoidably get a sense of who they are as a person -- even if its as minimal as that said author was very private about his/her person, and didn't permit any discernible biographical information slip into his or her writing (i.e. shakespeare).

For three, you keep asserting that the poem isn't very good, but you offer no reasons whatsoever to back the assertion up. If you want to argue against one of the most widely known and appreciated Sestinas ever written -- and yes, it is still taught and read widely today, in English departments all over the world -- you'd be better served by saying why you think it's not very good.

Lastly, on the notion that a poem need to be appealing to "everyone" to be the best poem. There is a very deep paradox here that you're not appreciating, and that's simply that everyone is no one. This is as much to say: the more universally appealing any piece of art is, the more likely it is to be, artistically speaking, a piece of shit. Take country music, for crying out loud. There are more people who appreciate this "form of art" than those who appreciate poetry on this planet, and this probably by a ratio of 100:1. Now, here's a lyric from a billboard top 100 country song, "Drink in My Hand:"

Fill it up or throw it down
I got a forty hour week worth of trouble to drown
No need to complicate it, I'm a simple man
All you got to do is put a drink in my hand

There are a hell of a lot more people in the world who can relate to this and appreciate it than you will ever know or care to know. Does that change the fact that has absolutely zero artistic merit whatsoever?

(11-02-2013, 09:19 AM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-26-2013, 11:00 AM)abu nuwas Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-26-2013, 09:59 AM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]sorry but i never try and see the person behind the poem, and no, i never recognised pund through the poem you showed jdeirmend. theres three poets i could possibly recognise for an unknown poem of theirs (on my part) poe, kipling and shakespeare, after that i wouldn't have a clue. the sestina wasn't that impressive

Billy,

That is a perfectly respectable stance, and I am sure it is shared by Matron. But it no longer seems to me to be adequate. One may know nothing; it may be anonymous --that's the end of it. But otherwise -- poets, and all sorts of writers and artists, are inclined to refer to other works, or events that they know of, and such --and what or whom more, than themselves? Consciously or not, that is what they do. Were I to write a poem with 'I' as narrator, about a fictional crash at the Malaysian Grand Prix, something of me would squeeze out. More often than not, it is more direct, and you may as well know something of the guy's life, rather than get some sort of concordance. We speak about ourselves, because we are human, and poet and poems are inextricably entangled. Tomorrow, of course, I may have done a complete volte-face....Smile (all down my trousers)

i'm not saying i don't want to see or know what the poet knows, i just have no need top know plath or sexton topped themselves in order to see pain in their works, while i know what poets what poems wrote ( though not many) and i can sometimes reference a poem as being like one of poe's the raven or emily's (poem of choice here) i have no need of knowing if oscar was gay or imprisoned etc, it doesn't make reading goal any better the reading of. that the poet puts something of themselves is an expected isn't it, just as long it's not his name address and telephone number :J:

(10-26-2013, 12:11 PM)jdeirmend Wrote: [ -> ]Ok. Let's think through this. You claim to not recognize Pound through the poem I showed, and that is fine. In this sort of instance, there is some sense, after all, in which you have to know who you're looking for to find him. But to say that you can't recognize a certain sort of artistic disposition at work, on the other hand, would be absurd. Whatever you don't know about Pound, after reading Altaforte, it shouldn't take much to recognize at least a couple of things about him. If anything else, that he was either at least mildly crazy, had a very poignant sense of humor, or (most likely) perhaps a little bit of both.
sorry but no i don't need to know a poet to recognise their style. despite what you or anyone else think you/they don't know pound. you see a style of writing, you read a review of what the work means or comes from but you don't know them. the same as i don't know you, no matter how many poems you write.

Quote:Having read more than a couple of Pound's poems, however, Altaforte becomes, for me, that much more meaningful. Even more so after understanding some of the biographical details of Pond's life. There is of course a chance I am in error in the interpretive nuances that my hermeneutic, which can only be put together piecemeal, tend me towards. But there is also the chance in which the meaning I'm intuiting/imputing, along with its causes/sources, is sensible and well-founded.
it may become meaningful to you. that does not mean you know pound. and again we don't understand any poets life apart from generalisations which cover most people and most profession.
here's a list of suicide numbers. (i'm guessing they went some kind of mental upheaval)
Food batchmakers (241)

Physicians (222) and health aides (excluding nursing) (221)

Lathe and turning machine operators (199)

Biological, life and medical scientists (188)

Social scientists and urban planners (171)

Dentists (165)

Lawyers and Judges (140)

Guards/sales occupations were tied at 139

Tool and die makers (126)

Police, public servants (118)

note that there are no professional poets HystericalHysterical

Quote:That's also fine, but consider that this has as much to do with how much you've read any of those poets, as well as how much poetry and literature you've read in general. Certain meanings will always be unavailable to the uninitiated, and likewise, certain and questionable meanings will be unavailable to the initiated. Also note the logic of what you're saying. Just because you reckon its only possible for you to recognize an unknown poem from three poets you do know, does not at all entail that you cannot recognize something, however fleeting, tentative and incomplete, about any poet from reading a single poem he or she wrote - if only that the poet in question wrote the poem in question. Still, to come back to that first poem, after reading the poet in question's corpus, can either corroborate, dismantle, or augment one's initial impressions.
first off, you have no idea what a person on here has or hasn't read, at one stage in my life i was reading up to 4 books a day. when i say the poets i'm not on about the poet but their style of writing. i take the poem as the poem, i don't after reading sit back and think...that guy was molested as a child, or that guy's a drunk. why sould I?

Quote:Further, I would invite you to consider that none of us on this message board are that good of readers, after all, relatively speaking. It takes a master like Bloom, for instance, to detect the contours of a reaction against predecessor poets, for instance, within the work of a given poet
another misconception, how can you say such a thing without knowing everyone here? I know of more than a couple who i would deem "good readers"

Quote:Whether or not the poem is impressive to you has as much to do, perhaps, with your general impression of me as anything. Even so, I can't help but remember a a wild night I've had, wherein I recited it in a half-drunken stupor, full of self-conscious and manly posturing to my friends. That one of them was full of himself and his own macho-ness to take it seriously and compliment me for the "new leaf I was turning" was enough to fill me with all kinds of joyous laughter, as much as I enjoyed acting the part of Bertrans. Anyone who takes this poem seriously would probably have to be psychotic, but when taken lightly and ironically, it exudes a comedy, for me, that is as beautiful as it is redemptive. [/b]
yes, i'm sure it it, but alas i'm not you. and i'm not him, i'm me and it's not that good a poem as far as i see it. you can't quantify feeling or what it is a reader sees. a good poem is a good poem irrespective of the poets sufferings or lack thereof. are we saying poems mean nothing if we don't see the poet in them. what about the lying poets i know i lie with my poetry. isn't the best poem the poem that everyone has an affinity with. ?
Quote:after carefully reading a number of an author's works, you will unavoidably get a sense of who they are as a person
no i won't at least not knowingly. all i'll get is a sense of who they are as a "the" poet or writer.

is jk Rowling a wizard Huh if anything i'd have said it was a guy as she rights from the male heroic perspective.
Shakespeare because of the period certainly writes from the feminine POV in many of his plays and sonnets.
Lewis Carroll wrote with a child like quality and poe wrote in a sinister style but i don't know them. i can't win this debate because these people are dead but wait. ....stan rice the poet writes with style that suggests he's of or about the streets. (he isn't) Ginsberg's "a supermarket in California" doesn't really give me any meat of the man except top say he had a thing for wally whitman, Kipling's IF did tell me he was probably an old army boy in India but and this is the big. it doesn't give me any specifics. you only get those from inside stories and autobiographies. i'v seen bukowski on video and he comes across as a drunken bum. i never got that fact from his poetry. it's all summation. i get something of the person if i see the person and even then it will still be assumption. any good writer shows us what they want to show us, and a lot of the time it's fabrication mixed with something else. the emo writers who are new to poetry, they show what they often think poetry should be. we know of people because we sometimes see into their lives, hemmingway, plath, sexton, etc because of someone telling a story about them. sometimes untrue stories. so sorry but no, i don't see the persons behind the poem i only see the lying poet in the poem,
So let's look at the idea of "the lying writer." Let's say that an author has done such a good job of concealing the truth about him/herself in his work, i.e., it points entirely away from anything that would help us to pin him or her down as in any biographical, historical, or psychological respect. So we can't tell if an author was sad, ugly, boring, a murderer, an Englishmen, alive during the Victorian era, a lesbian, etc. Pick any one of a number of these psychophysical attributes. First, we can say that even with the most disciplined writer, this is going to be difficult to do. (That Shakespeare was homosexual, for instance, may be debated, but a number of his poems seem to establish emphatically that he was).

Now, let's say that a given that author has done this with 100% success. What does this tell us about him or her?

This is all I've been trying to say to you. That someone has written something or said something at all can be used to adduce or infer something about him or her, personally, as much as the conceptual/descriptive content of his or her writing. So indeed, if you can see the lying writer behind the text, the fact that you see him as a liar shows me that you know something, however minimal, about him/her.

(11-02-2013, 03:59 PM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:after carefully reading a number of an author's works, you will unavoidably get a sense of who they are as a person
no i won't at least not knowingly. all i'll get is a sense of who they are as a "the" poet or writer.

is jk Rowling a wizard Huh if anything i'd have said it was a guy as she rights from the male heroic perspective.
Shakespeare because of the period certainly writes from the feminine POV in many of his plays and sonnets.
Lewis Carroll wrote with a child like quality and poe wrote in a sinister style but i don't know them. i can't win this debate because these people are dead but wait. ....stan rice the poet writes with style that suggests he's of or about the streets. (he isn't) Ginsberg's "a supermarket in California" doesn't really give me any meat of the man except top say he had a thing for wally whitman, Kipling's IF did tell me he was probably an old army boy in India but and this is the big. it doesn't give me any specifics. you only get those from inside stories and autobiographies. i'v seen bukowski on video and he comes across as a drunken bum. i never got that fact from his poetry. it's all summation. i get something of the person if i see the person and even then it will still be assumption. any good writer shows us what they want to show us, and a lot of the time it's fabrication mixed with something else. the emo writers who are new to poetry, they show what they often think poetry should be. we know of people because we sometimes see into their lives, hemmingway, plath, sexton, etc because of someone telling a story about them. sometimes untrue stories. so sorry but no, i don't see the persons behind the poem i only see the lying poet in the poem,
(11-02-2013, 08:23 PM)jdeirmend Wrote: [ -> ]So let's look at the idea of "the lying writer." Let's say that an author has done such a good job of concealing the truth about him/herself in his work, i.e., it points entirely away from anything that would help us to pin him or her down as in any biographical, historical, or psychological respect. So we can't tell if an author was sad, ugly, boring, a murderer, an Englishmen, alive during the Victorian era, a lesbian, etc. Pick any one of a number of these psychophysical attributes. First, we can say that even with the most disciplined writer, this is going to be difficult to do. (That Shakespeare was homosexual, for instance, may be debated, but a number of his poems seem to establish emphatically that he was).

Now, let's say that a given that author has done this with 100% success. What does this tell us about him or her?

This is all I've been trying to say to you. That someone has written something or said something at all can be used to adduce or infer something about him or her, personally, as much as the conceptual/descriptive content of his or her writing. So indeed, if you can see the lying writer behind the text, the fact that you see him as a liar shows me that you know something, however minimal, about him/her.

(11-02-2013, 03:59 PM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:after carefully reading a number of an author's works, you will unavoidably get a sense of who they are as a person
no i won't at least not knowingly. all i'll get is a sense of who they are as a "the" poet or writer.

is jk Rowling a wizard Huh if anything i'd have said it was a guy as she rights from the male heroic perspective.
Shakespeare because of the period certainly writes from the feminine POV in many of his plays and sonnets.
Lewis Carroll wrote with a child like quality and poe wrote in a sinister style but i don't know them. i can't win this debate because these people are dead but wait. ....stan rice the poet writes with style that suggests he's of or about the streets. (he isn't) Ginsberg's "a supermarket in California" doesn't really give me any meat of the man except top say he had a thing for wally whitman, Kipling's IF did tell me he was probably an old army boy in India but and this is the big. it doesn't give me any specifics. you only get those from inside stories and autobiographies. i'v seen bukowski on video and he comes across as a drunken bum. i never got that fact from his poetry. it's all summation. i get something of the person if i see the person and even then it will still be assumption. any good writer shows us what they want to show us, and a lot of the time it's fabrication mixed with something else. the emo writers who are new to poetry, they show what they often think poetry should be. we know of people because we sometimes see into their lives, hemmingway, plath, sexton, etc because of someone telling a story about them. sometimes untrue stories. so sorry but no, i don't see the persons behind the poem i only see the lying poet in the poem,

I wish I could remember the name of the logic error where you use observation of phenomena to prove causation. (possibly 'ipso facto" error)

Yes, much of Shakespeare's writing includes the POV of a homosexual and yet there is no historical evidence of him being a homosexual. Well, if you take your hypothesis of an author's writing always referring back to the author themselves, Shakespeare was, ipso facto, a homosexual!! You could accept that writers simply have the ability to write as different personas (what you call "lying" and everyone else in the world calls "writing") but no, you take this as proof both of your theory (an author's writing reveals the author) and as proof of Shakespeare's homosexuality.

Apologism at its best!

I have written many works from the POV of homosexual, sociopath, female, I shudder to think what this "proves" about me!
Quote:This is all I've been trying to say to you. That someone has written something or said something at all can be used to adduce or infer something about him or her, personally, as much as the conceptual/descriptive content of his or her writing. So indeed, if you can see the lying writer behind the text, the fact that you see him as a liar shows me that you know something, however minimal, about him/her.

inference is not fact . what i see may not be so. i may see a writer of wild tales as a liar, which i don't, the lie thing is a generalisation of writers. some will not be liars, but i feel most are. and not the liar liar type of liar, but the creationist type of liar where an artist creates something that never was. while it may seem i know something i don't not from the poetry, eg; i've read a lot of stuff about certain poets that taint what poetry fo theirs i read. i suspect for instance that shakey was a plagiarist. okay i see a bit of homage in his works (the story of anthony and cleo has been written many times etc.) but i never really new that till i read of it outside poetry.

you reinforce my view with some of your opening statements. here's one of them;

Quote:I think of Eliot as a poet who often thematized his own despair over this fact:

look the 2nd word you use, think....you think....you don't know. we know wilde was gay, how, even if he says "i'm gay" in poem are we to take it as a given? no we know he's gay because he was he stood up in court and declared "i am the prosecutor in this case" when defending a libel case saying he was a gay, he openly admitted the fact and lost the case. subsequently in another case brought about by the former he was jailed. finally being sent to reading jail, it was because of his treatment their he wrote 'the ballad of reading goal' we know it was terrible time in his life not because of the poem but because of [a] our knowledge that he was actually in the prison, [b] that he was a self confessed homosexual and [c] that the prison system of that time was particularly unkind, specially to for homosexuals which act was deemed a horrendous crime. so much so that wilde's judge upon sentencing him to two years declared (the maximum allowed) it was not enough for such an awful crime (paraphrased). i never got a jot of that from any of his poetry. i never new he'd been jailed for homosexuality let alone new that he'd penned a poem about it. we see what the writer allows us to see. and know what we THINK we know when we read poetry or fiction or even fact. a poet for me is the world poet, all i need to know is he lived and wrote poetry
(11-03-2013, 12:39 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-02-2013, 08:23 PM)jdeirmend Wrote: [ -> ]So let's look at the idea of "the lying writer." Let's say that an author has done such a good job of concealing the truth about him/herself in his work, i.e., it points entirely away from anything that would help us to pin him or her down as in any biographical, historical, or psychological respect. So we can't tell if an author was sad, ugly, boring, a murderer, an Englishmen, alive during the Victorian era, a lesbian, etc. Pick any one of a number of these psychophysical attributes. First, we can say that even with the most disciplined writer, this is going to be difficult to do. (That Shakespeare was homosexual, for instance, may be debated, but a number of his poems seem to establish emphatically that he was).

Now, let's say that a given that author has done this with 100% success. What does this tell us about him or her?

This is all I've been trying to say to you. That someone has written something or said something at all can be used to adduce or infer something about him or her, personally, as much as the conceptual/descriptive content of his or her writing. So indeed, if you can see the lying writer behind the text, the fact that you see him as a liar shows me that you know something, however minimal, about him/her.

(11-02-2013, 03:59 PM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]no i won't at least not knowingly. all i'll get is a sense of who they are as a "the" poet or writer.

is jk Rowling a wizard Huh if anything i'd have said it was a guy as she rights from the male heroic perspective.
Shakespeare because of the period certainly writes from the feminine POV in many of his plays and sonnets.
Lewis Carroll wrote with a child like quality and poe wrote in a sinister style but i don't know them. i can't win this debate because these people are dead but wait. ....stan rice the poet writes with style that suggests he's of or about the streets. (he isn't) Ginsberg's "a supermarket in California" doesn't really give me any meat of the man except top say he had a thing for wally whitman, Kipling's IF did tell me he was probably an old army boy in India but and this is the big. it doesn't give me any specifics. you only get those from inside stories and autobiographies. i'v seen bukowski on video and he comes across as a drunken bum. i never got that fact from his poetry. it's all summation. i get something of the person if i see the person and even then it will still be assumption. any good writer shows us what they want to show us, and a lot of the time it's fabrication mixed with something else. the emo writers who are new to poetry, they show what they often think poetry should be. we know of people because we sometimes see into their lives, hemmingway, plath, sexton, etc because of someone telling a story about them. sometimes untrue stories. so sorry but no, i don't see the persons behind the poem i only see the lying poet in the poem,

I wish I could remember the name of the logic error where you use observation of phenomena to prove causation. (possibly 'ipso facto" error)

Yes, much of Shakespeare's writing includes the POV of a homosexual and yet there is no historical evidence of him being a homosexual. Well, if you take your hypothesis of an author's writing always referring back to the author themselves, Shakespeare was, ipso facto, a homosexual!! You could accept that writers simply have the ability to write as different personas (what you call "lying" and everyone else in the world calls "writing") but no, you take this as proof both of your theory (an author's writing reveals the author) and as proof of Shakespeare's homosexuality.

Apologism at its best!

I have written many works from the POV of homosexual, sociopath, female, I shudder to think what this "proves" about me!

Milo,

Thanks for joining in.

Please note that I never claimed that "an author's writing always refers back to the author himself." That is an extremely strong (and stupid) claim. We need to distinguish carefully between sense and reference. "Sometimes" refers would be better, but always gives at least a sense of what the writer was about, yes, that's my position.

If that seems so terribly controversial, let me try and re-state it again. What I'm trying to say is that we can get a sense, and perhaps even a privileged one, of who a writer was through his/her writing. Perhaps even a sense of what he really thought or believed that is more accurate and revealing than any directly biographical or autobiographical account. Otherwise, bits and pieces of understanding that lend themselves to us knowing things about the author that he even didn't quite understanding about him/herself. Literature can lend itself as a conduit for an otherwise secretive soul, as much as one to a soul's hidden secrets. Why else do writers use pen names, after all? Every willful concealing is at the same time, particularly to the careful eye, also a revealing, whether consciously intended or not.

Note that I did not say that Shakespeare's writing "proved" he was homosexual, but rather that some of it seems to establish emphatically that he was. Certain of his sonnets, when read and paired with certain biographical information, have lead more than one respectable scholar to this conclusion.

But yes, SEEM is a key word here.

This is hardly a controversial idea in cultural studies, literary theory, etc.

(11-03-2013, 08:04 AM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]we see what the writer allows us to see.

This single sentence basically undermines entire branches of literary theory devoted to discovering what the author betrays unbeknownst to himself within his writing. Arguably, it undermines literary theory as a legitimate endeavor.

If you haven't yet, read this short book, and then tell me if you still think the same way.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Anxiety-Influe...+influence
(11-03-2013, 08:48 PM)jdeirmend Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-03-2013, 12:39 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-02-2013, 08:23 PM)jdeirmend Wrote: [ -> ]So let's look at the idea of "the lying writer." Let's say that an author has done such a good job of concealing the truth about him/herself in his work, i.e., it points entirely away from anything that would help us to pin him or her down as in any biographical, historical, or psychological respect. So we can't tell if an author was sad, ugly, boring, a murderer, an Englishmen, alive during the Victorian era, a lesbian, etc. Pick any one of a number of these psychophysical attributes. First, we can say that even with the most disciplined writer, this is going to be difficult to do. (That Shakespeare was homosexual, for instance, may be debated, but a number of his poems seem to establish emphatically that he was).

Now, let's say that a given that author has done this with 100% success. What does this tell us about him or her?

This is all I've been trying to say to you. That someone has written something or said something at all can be used to adduce or infer something about him or her, personally, as much as the conceptual/descriptive content of his or her writing. So indeed, if you can see the lying writer behind the text, the fact that you see him as a liar shows me that you know something, however minimal, about him/her.

I wish I could remember the name of the logic error where you use observation of phenomena to prove causation. (possibly 'ipso facto" error)

Yes, much of Shakespeare's writing includes the POV of a homosexual and yet there is no historical evidence of him being a homosexual. Well, if you take your hypothesis of an author's writing always referring back to the author themselves, Shakespeare was, ipso facto, a homosexual!! You could accept that writers simply have the ability to write as different personas (what you call "lying" and everyone else in the world calls "writing") but no, you take this as proof both of your theory (an author's writing reveals the author) and as proof of Shakespeare's homosexuality.

Apologism at its best!

I have written many works from the POV of homosexual, sociopath, female, I shudder to think what this "proves" about me!

Milo,

Thanks for joining in.

Please note that I never claimed that "an author's writing always refers back to the author himself." That is an extremely strong (and stupid) claim. We need to distinguish carefully between sense and reference. "Sometimes" refers would be better, but always gives at least a sense of what the writer was about, yes, that's my position.

If that seems so terribly controversial, let me try and re-state it again. What I'm trying to say is that we can get a sense, and perhaps even a privileged one, of who a writer was through his/her writing. Perhaps even a sense of what he really thought or believed that is more accurate and revealing than any directly biographical or autobiographical account. Otherwise, bits and pieces of understanding that lend themselves to us knowing things about the author that he even didn't quite understanding about him/herself. Literature can lend itself as a conduit for an otherwise secretive soul, as much as one to a soul's hidden secrets. Why else do writers use pen names, after all? Every willful concealing is at the same time, particularly to the careful eye, also a revealing, whether consciously intended or not.

Note that I did not say that Shakespeare's writing "proved" he was homosexual, but rather that some of it seems to establish emphatically that he was. Certain of his sonnets, when read and paired with certain biographical information, have lead more than one respectable scholar to this conclusion.
the difference between establish and prove is nothing. The only thing it really establishes is that he could write from different POV's

It is true, there is nothing radical, controversial or even particularly intersting being presented here, the confessional movement seemed to establish to every literary analyst that writers only write about themselves and scads of "details" have been posthunously uncovered about authors (all unsupported by actual evidence, by why dwell on that?)

Of course we should also disregard the track record of success for this practice, let's rewrite history through apologism!

Mostly, I find the practice a combination of pop-culture fanboi-ism and smug "kill your heroes" satisfaction that draws small minds away from the literature toward neo-con culture star watching. I also find it pretty distasteful and mostly utter bollocks.
(11-03-2013, 11:39 PM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-03-2013, 08:48 PM)jdeirmend Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-03-2013, 12:39 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]I wish I could remember the name of the logic error where you use observation of phenomena to prove causation. (possibly 'ipso facto" error)

Yes, much of Shakespeare's writing includes the POV of a homosexual and yet there is no historical evidence of him being a homosexual. Well, if you take your hypothesis of an author's writing always referring back to the author themselves, Shakespeare was, ipso facto, a homosexual!! You could accept that writers simply have the ability to write as different personas (what you call "lying" and everyone else in the world calls "writing") but no, you take this as proof both of your theory (an author's writing reveals the author) and as proof of Shakespeare's homosexuality.

Apologism at its best!

I have written many works from the POV of homosexual, sociopath, female, I shudder to think what this "proves" about me!

Milo,

Thanks for joining in.

Please note that I never claimed that "an author's writing always refers back to the author himself." That is an extremely strong (and stupid) claim. We need to distinguish carefully between sense and reference. "Sometimes" refers would be better, but always gives at least a sense of what the writer was about, yes, that's my position.

If that seems so terribly controversial, let me try and re-state it again. What I'm trying to say is that we can get a sense, and perhaps even a privileged one, of who a writer was through his/her writing. Perhaps even a sense of what he really thought or believed that is more accurate and revealing than any directly biographical or autobiographical account. Otherwise, bits and pieces of understanding that lend themselves to us knowing things about the author that he even didn't quite understanding about him/herself. Literature can lend itself as a conduit for an otherwise secretive soul, as much as one to a soul's hidden secrets. Why else do writers use pen names, after all? Every willful concealing is at the same time, particularly to the careful eye, also a revealing, whether consciously intended or not.

Note that I did not say that Shakespeare's writing "proved" he was homosexual, but rather that some of it seems to establish emphatically that he was. Certain of his sonnets, when read and paired with certain biographical information, have lead more than one respectable scholar to this conclusion.
the difference between establish and prove is nothing. The only thing it really establishes is that he could write from different POV's

It is true, there is nothing radical, controversial or even particularly intersting being presented here, the confessional movement seemed to establish to every literary analyst that writers only write about themselves and scads of "details" have been posthunously uncovered about authors (all unsupported by actual evidence, by why dwell on that?)

Of course we should also disregard the track record of success for this practice, let's rewrite history through apologism!

Mostly, I find the practice a combination of pop-culture fanboi-ism and smug "kill your heroes" satisfaction that draws small minds away from the literature toward neo-con culture star watching. I also find it pretty distasteful and mostly utter bollocks.

Ahh! You keep ignoring things I'm writing. For one, the word SEEMS.

Also, the sarcasm is really unnecessary, and only presents an obstacle for me towards understanding what you're trying to say. "Apologism?" What am I making defenses/excuses for?

Finally: if you want to assert that psychobiographical modes of interpretation tend towards "fanboisms" or lend mostly to a shallow, cult-of-personality engagement with writers, go tell that to the most eminent critics working in English right now, who routinely utilize such modes of reading, and do so with breathtaking astuteness and aplomb.

My readings may verge on the former distasteful things you allude to, but that's to be expected. I'm not a comp. lit. Ph.D. working out of Harvard after all. If I was, I probably wouldn't be arguing with you and Billy over so much trivial bullshit on a poetry message board online.

Really, though, you and Billy both ought to consider that not only is literature inseparable from life, but that life is inseparable from literature. The donning of a mask or a persona in the writing of literature is not so different from what we all do in public life; it doesn't always take too much to see through it. Beyond that, even with intimates, we only know them through the signs they show us, whose subtleties and depths we sometimes find ourselves plumbing by attending to them as we would a text.

Anyhow, I think you're both clinging to romantic notions of selfhood that makes private intention into something that is barred off completely from what is made public in literature. Granted that the most skilled authors/writers tend to be the best at artfully concealing the private selves they draw upon in creating their art, with some exceptions. Even so, the most skilled, devoted, and sometimes merely attentive readers can still find the traces of the self that hides.
(11-04-2013, 12:51 AM)jdeirmend Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-03-2013, 11:39 PM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-03-2013, 08:48 PM)jdeirmend Wrote: [ -> ]Milo,

Thanks for joining in.

Please note that I never claimed that "an author's writing always refers back to the author himself." That is an extremely strong (and stupid) claim. We need to distinguish carefully between sense and reference. "Sometimes" refers would be better, but always gives at least a sense of what the writer was about, yes, that's my position.

If that seems so terribly controversial, let me try and re-state it again. What I'm trying to say is that we can get a sense, and perhaps even a privileged one, of who a writer was through his/her writing. Perhaps even a sense of what he really thought or believed that is more accurate and revealing than any directly biographical or autobiographical account. Otherwise, bits and pieces of understanding that lend themselves to us knowing things about the author that he even didn't quite understanding about him/herself. Literature can lend itself as a conduit for an otherwise secretive soul, as much as one to a soul's hidden secrets. Why else do writers use pen names, after all? Every willful concealing is at the same time, particularly to the careful eye, also a revealing, whether consciously intended or not.

Note that I did not say that Shakespeare's writing "proved" he was homosexual, but rather that some of it seems to establish emphatically that he was. Certain of his sonnets, when read and paired with certain biographical information, have lead more than one respectable scholar to this conclusion.
the difference between establish and prove is nothing. The only thing it really establishes is that he could write from different POV's

It is true, there is nothing radical, controversial or even particularly intersting being presented here, the confessional movement seemed to establish to every literary analyst that writers only write about themselves and scads of "details" have been posthunously uncovered about authors (all unsupported by actual evidence, by why dwell on that?)

Of course we should also disregard the track record of success for this practice, let's rewrite history through apologism!

Mostly, I find the practice a combination of pop-culture fanboi-ism and smug "kill your heroes" satisfaction that draws small minds away from the literature toward neo-con culture star watching. I also find it pretty distasteful and mostly utter bollocks.

Ahh! You keep ignoring things I'm writing. For one, the word SEEMS.
the court acknowledges the word "seems" noted here in all caps.
Quote:Also, the sarcasm is really unnecessary, and only presents an obstacle for me towards understanding what you're trying to say. "Apologism?" What am I making defenses/excuses for?
apologism, in addition to the dictionary.com definition, is used as the rewriting of historical facts to coincide with what we already believe.

Quote:Finally: if you want to assert that psychobiographical modes of interpretation tend towards "fanboisms" or lend mostly to a shallow, cult-of-personality engagement with writers, go tell that to the most eminent critics working in English right now, who routinely utilize such modes of reading, and do so with breathtaking astuteness and aplomb.
if one of these fan-bois shows up here I will do so. For now, I deal with what is available.

Quote:My readings may verge on the former distasteful things you allude to, but that's to be expected. I'm not a comp. lit. Ph.D. working out of Harvard after all. If I was, I probably wouldn't be arguing with you and Billy over so much trivial bullshit on a poetry message board online.
you would be surprised. you would be surprised.
Quote:Really, though, you and Billy both ought to consider that not only is literature inseparable from life, but that life is inseparable from literature. The donning of a mask or a persona in the writing of literature is not so different from what we all do in public life; it doesn't always take too much to see through it. Beyond that, even with intimates, we only know them through the signs they show us, whose subtleties and depths we sometimes find ourselves plumbing by attending to them as we would a text.
It seems you believe everyone should consider this. Consider it considered. You should consider the success rate this produces. Consider the following: Yes, much of Shakespeare's writing alludes to homosexuality but wait!! Much of it alludes to heterosexuality!! Well, one of them has to be true doesn't it? Let's just credit this irrelevant discovery to our shrewd analysis of his writings, shall we?
Quote:Anyhow, I think you're both clinging to romantic notions of selfhood that makes private intention into something that is barred off completely from what is made public in literature. Granted that the most skilled authors/writers tend to be the best at artfully concealing the private selves they draw upon in creating their art, with some exceptions. Even so, the most skilled, devoted, and sometimes merely attentive readers can still find the traces of the self that hides.

I think you're clinging to a pointless psychoanalysis of writers through writing that does nothing to increase the value of the /writing/ itself, actually distracting from literary discussion, diverting them to literary figure discussions.
Reading this thread, I come away with two truths that I not only retain from before reading, but which have been reinforced tenfold.

1. I dislike the poetry of Pound and most of Eliot's (with the exception of The Hollow Men), not because of who wrote it, but because it irritates me.

2. I remain unapologetically post-structuralist and if that makes me archaic, so be it. I care little for the author and consider everything I read to be mine (although some things I do wish the writer hadn't given to me and would cheerfully return them).
(11-04-2013, 04:36 AM)Leanne Wrote: [ -> ]Reading this thread, I come away with two truths that I not only retain from before reading, but which have been reinforced tenfold.

1. I dislike the poetry of Pound and most of Eliot's (with the exception of The Hollow Men), not because of who wrote it, but because it irritates me.

2. I remain unapologetically post-structuralist and if that makes me archaic, so be it. I care little for the author and consider everything I read to be mine (although some things I do wish the writer hadn't given to me and would cheerfully return them).

At last! Matron has spoken! Smile
Quote:I think you're clinging to a pointless psychoanalysis of writers through writing that does nothing to increase the value of the /writing/ itself, actually distracting from literary discussion, diverting them to literary figure discussions.

To me, you can't really know what sort of a fruit you're dealing with, until you cast your gaze upon the tree its fallen from. Even then, it takes some familiarity with the entire orchard to really know what's going on. That is to say: the approach I advocate and attempt to embody isn't merely psychoanalytic. It is also hermeneutic.

Granted, I'm an amateur, and this thread sprung from a desire to write about poets and poetry as much as anything. My speculations on these matters, I can readily concede, are just that: speculations. That doesn't mean that they are all completely ill founded or entirely without merit.

You think this sort of behavior is a distraction from properly "literary" discussion. That this position essentially ignores the most significant developments in literary theory in the past 40 or so years is something that seems to give you absolutely zero pause.
(11-04-2013, 12:07 PM)jdeirmend Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:I think you're clinging to a pointless psychoanalysis of writers through writing that does nothing to increase the value of the /writing/ itself, actually distracting from literary discussion, diverting them to literary figure discussions.

To me, you can't really know what sort of a fruit you're dealing with, until you cast your gaze upon the tree its fallen from. Even then, it takes some familiarity with the entire orchard to really know what's going on. That is to say: the approach I advocate and attempt to embody isn't merely psychoanalytic. It is also hermeneutic.

Granted, I'm an amateur, and this thread sprung from a desire to write about poets and poetry as much as anything. My speculations on these matters, I can readily concede, are just that: speculations. That doesn't mean that they are all completely ill founded or entirely without merit.

You think this sort of behavior is a distraction from properly "literary" discussion. That this position essentially ignores the most significant developments in literary theory in the past 40 or so years is something that seems to give you absolutely zero pause.

You (and many others that need to justify a position) believe that writing /needs/ an author to exist, to have purpose or meaning.

It's just not the case. Authorial intent has no effect at all on the actual words. Meaning is determined by the /reading/ not the writing, a good author observes and reports. If an effective analysis is dependent on knowing the author (other than cultural and social issues surrounding the times) than the writing fails.
so i read a great poem jdier a poem that gives me nothing of the author, lets's say i read the jabberwock

one of my favourites. do i not love it as much because i don't know what lewiss was into or who he was as a person?
what does the charge of the light brigade show me about the author.. what of zola's earth of joyec's dubliners. what of hess' glass bead game or sidhartha which i never liked. we love the stories they wrote, we love the places the poet takes us and sometimes la style of poetry emerges that we recognise. this doesn't show we know the poet, it only shows we know of their works. take a look at the pics of joyce or whitman or ginsberg, their faces show much more than their poetry ever would, listen to them speak their voice and body language give more away than mere poetry could ever do. it's why good poetry is so special it brings the words to life, it brings the reader to life. all the time hiding from us the poet.

(11-04-2013, 12:07 PM)jdeirmend Wrote: [ -> ]To me, you can't really know what sort of a fruit you're dealing with, until you cast your gaze upon the tree its fallen from.
i buy an apple i eat an apple if it tastes good i remember where i got it and possibly the name. i have no need to see the orchard it came from, i have no need to see the cowshite in the farmyard in order to enjoy beef

an anecdote. i'm an motown fan, in my early day's m jackson was one of my gave singers. later on i admire his stuff even though i wasn't too keen on it, he's a great artist and entertainer...this is fact. after and because of his court case i took the side of him being guilty (my pov) now i don't even listen to his music let alone buy it. if i never knew he;'d written it i'd still be listening to some of it...know the artist does not mean you feel closer or more inclined to like their work. milo is right, if a poem is enhanced by the knowing of the poet then that poem has already failed. we see what we see, not what we are told to see.
(11-04-2013, 12:17 PM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-04-2013, 12:07 PM)jdeirmend Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:I think you're clinging to a pointless psychoanalysis of writers through writing that does nothing to increase the value of the /writing/ itself, actually distracting from literary discussion, diverting them to literary figure discussions.

To me, you can't really know what sort of a fruit you're dealing with, until you cast your gaze upon the tree its fallen from. Even then, it takes some familiarity with the entire orchard to really know what's going on. That is to say: the approach I advocate and attempt to embody isn't merely psychoanalytic. It is also hermeneutic.

Granted, I'm an amateur, and this thread sprung from a desire to write about poets and poetry as much as anything. My speculations on these matters, I can readily concede, are just that: speculations. That doesn't mean that they are all completely ill founded or entirely without merit.

You think this sort of behavior is a distraction from properly "literary" discussion. That this position essentially ignores the most significant developments in literary theory in the past 40 or so years is something that seems to give you absolutely zero pause.

You (and many others that need to justify a position) believe that writing /needs/ an author to exist, to have purpose or meaning.

It's just not the case. Authorial intent has no effect at all on the actual words. Meaning is determined by the /reading/ not the writing, a good author observes and reports. If an effective analysis is dependent on knowing the author (other than cultural and social issues surrounding the times) than the writing fails.

But writing does need a writing author, in the same way that speech needs a speaking subject. If you're going to assert otherwise, offer some reasons to back your position up, which seems extreme to the point of absurdity. Furthermore, I'm not sure what you mean by saying that "authorial intent has no effect at all on the actual words." That seems either carelessly phrased or downright false.

Beyond that, even if a writer isn't saying anything about his human identity apart from his writing when writing, his writing still makes a statement about him, as a human being. This is because there is a distinction to be had between (1) the immediately intelligible content of one's writing and (2) the significance of one's having written the same.

And yet, this distinction is a plastic one, because of the fact of context. My having read other writings invariably informs my reading of the one sitting in front of me at the moment, whether these are written by the same author or by another. For instance, by way of allusion, I can see meanings in the writing at hand that others cannot, and this by virtue of the familiarity that I have with the corpus of the author in question's work. Does this mean that the writing at hand "fails?" Hardly.

Granted there is writing that is accorded the status of "timelessness," and even writing that is truly timeless. Granted that this sort of writing tends to stand on its own better than most, but is still prone to being read in a context sensitive (read: timely) fashion. Still, if the reader is the only one responsible for the meaning that is produced when he or she reads a timeless work, in just what sense is the writing in question timeless? To deny any kind of authorly authority to the writer leads to the absurd result that he/she didn't even have control over what he/she communicates in writing. Clearly, this is not the case, at least not for what few works can be rightly called timeless.

Here's the rub: the exceptional writer is always and already a reader of his own work as well. That this is generally true of the best writers is incontrovertible. The practice of re-writing, with drafts sometimes numbering in the dozens, testifies to this much.
seriously

i can't follow your logic.
i haven't been offering reasons.
you're good, you're very good but i've had enough, you win. Wink

you're making things up npw. who denied authorly authority to what? we read they write we don't always see what they mean, they don't always write of themselves or their experiences. it a blind fuckin apple dunking contest. the poet puts the apples in the tub of water but we don't see him do it.

i'm happy with my opinion. i'fe used quotes, anecdotes source material, even poetry and part autobiographies, if that's not reason evoking enough for you i'm fucked. i do see that you seem to be the only correct person in the thread well done.
bye.
It's risky to deduct the writer/composer/painter from isolated works ('This piece is in A minor, Beethoven must have been mighty sad when he wrote this.') but I agree with jdeirmend that the full body of work of an artist does permit this to an extent. Almost every writer has a few recurring themes in his full body of work that he obsesses over, and as a reader, this can tell us something about him.
fuck it.

the reader doesn't read with my eyes and i don't read with the readers eyes.
Quote:I'm not sure what you mean by saying that "authorial intent has no effect at all on the actual words." That seems either carelessly phrased or downright false.

it has no effect because the bastard poet is probably telling a fabricated story. is every thing you write the truth? if not then how the fuck are we to distinguish lies from truth unless we see some external source material. it's one of the reasons i/we tell people "don't tell us what the poem is about after they write a preface or footnote. it psychologically taints the reading of the fucking poem. what's the point of feedback if we've already been told what it's about.

i can pick 10, no 50 poems most people wouldn't have a fucking clue as to what's being said, most people who read poetry don't even look beyond the words for hidden depth, they don't try or want to understand any metaphor, they read it and say "oh that's a lovely fucking poem. they don't start thinking mmmm, 'i bet because of the suffering in this poem she's took it up the arse a few time.' or 'this is a happy poem about kids, she must have 4 of them 2 of each and be married to great guy. we write happy poems and sad poems, dark and light poems, what type of person are we. the truth is we don't know, it's all guesswork without real facts.

poets write poetry, good poets write good poetry, seamus heany  wrote some good poetry [the titles escape me. he died a short while ago, all i know of him is this, he's fuckin dead, he's a man, he's irish, he wore glasses and he was a pretty fuckin good poet i didn't get any of this from his poetry ok maybe him being irish from the name ( it's still a guess though) i never felt his pain of love or hope, i only read of my own in his words. were his words true, i didn't care or need to know. it seems you do need to know the poet, it's a shame really because to as certain as you seem to be of who they are would require more than a psychic, it would require an act of god.

that
s my last word so fill your boots:J:.
Billy, hat's off to you for sustaining the effort. Thumbsup

I don't mean to pretend that I am really so good and widely read of a reader, that I'm able to see all this kind of stuff all the time. And I do concede to the wisdom of giving the writing a chance to stand on its own merits, first, before trying to get all fancy and clever. But when I'm able to shut my distracted mind down well enough to do just that, for me, it often invites a deeper engagement.




(11-04-2013, 04:41 PM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]seriously

i can't follow your logic.
i haven't been offering reasons.
you're good, you're very good but i've had enough, you win. Wink

you're making things up npw. who denied authorly authority to what? we read they write we don't always see what they mean, they don't always write of themselves or their experiences. it a blind fuckin apple dunking contest. the poet puts the apples in the tub of water but we don't see him do it.

i'm happy with my opinion. i'fe used quotes, anecdotes source material, even poetry and part autobiographies, if that's not reason evoking enough for you i'm fucked. i do see that you seem to be the only correct person in the thread well done.
bye.
(11-04-2013, 04:44 PM)jdvanwijk Wrote: [ -> ]It's risky to deduct the person of the writer/composer/painter from isolated works ('This piece is in A minor, Beethoven must have been mighty sad when he wrote this.') but I agree with jdeirmend that the full body of work of an artist does permit this to an extent. Almost every writer has a few recurring themes in his full body of work that he obsesses over, and as a reader, this can tell me something about him.
what tells us something about the artist is extraneous material. i write poems about shit, snot and farting in public a lot but i don't walk round shitting my pants.

often what we know of famous poets, writers, singers, painters etc is what we get outside their works, show me some happy music and i'll show you a suicide. why must Beethoven have been sad while writing that piece in A minor? were you there? he was a masterful composer, can't a great composer compose sad pieces while they're happy? and did we also get that he was blind as well from any of his music? you'd have thought something so profound would have shone a light in our eyes. but no. We're smart because we have big brains that work well. we pick up peripheral information all the time. we see the merchant of Venice on tv, we read in the news how Ann Hathaway lived in a certain place. we hear a quote from Gandhi in a comedy. how do you know what you know about Beethoven apart from the obvious? we're inundated with external information and we retain some of it but, and this is a big but, knowing when the grape was crushed shouldn't make the wine the sweeter. if it does then you're not really interested in the wine but the more so the knowledge of when it was created

when i say blind i mean blind to sound (deaf )
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