hatstuck snarl

theoretically, a hairstyling salon


Re: adorno again

Steve, your thoughts did wonder for staying even during Steve Evan's informal Adorno lecture. I will tell you about it soon. Adorno's a little crazy. I am reading a book a day for the comps plus grading weiners' papers plus doing Loy and Old
English an hour each a day! Yuck. Anyways, I will talk to you sooon. Steve Evans sometimes reads our blog. He said that Emerson is the closest person to Adorno in America in terms of writing the kind of Essay that Adorno outlines!


although it is apparent that much of the time I have no idea what he
is saying


adorno again

Can I help you at all with this essay prior to your meeting tomorrow?

I see it as a challenge primarily in his venomous assault on positivism. Positivism put simply is a
philosophical system based upon a faith in scientific principles. Anything abstract which cannot be
proven scientifically is rejected by positivists as not real.

Sorry, this is a huge simplification and I would love to hear your response.

Adorno seems to think of the essay as an opportunity to challenge habits of thinking about whatever
the essay examines, in our case, things literary. In my case, Emerson as obsessed with greatness.
As a "poet" he thinks he can achieve greatness. Adorno would probably suggest then that this idea
of greatness is merely a convention and as such it can be challenged. What is it's value or lack of
value as a convention and does questioning the idea of greatness change how we think of poetry?

What I see when I read literary essays by scholars is an assumption that greatness is actual. Some
people are assumed to have it, but that is not the same thing as looking a specific poem. That is,
what has the person to do with the quality of a poem as presumed by others and does that mean that
one is great? I think not because it betrays elitism, that being that making very strong poems
(always according to certain acceptable standards) is better than building an amazingly funcitional
and energy efficient house, for instance. Perhaps that confuses the issue, but we tend to live in a
culture which prioritizes written objects in an elite hierarchy of supposed "ideas," as if people
encountered casually don't have good spoken ideas as well. I'm not trying to say that the spoken is
preferable to the written, only that we have an elitism based upon writing, most of which is garbage.

Think of a poem as an assembly of person, process, and product. Is the goal of these elements then
that the person will be considered great? It's weird to think so, but it is generally assumed to be so
by the academic community. Adorno's essay on the essay (I think) allows and encourages us to
challenge such notions.

One thing I see in this essay and his emphasis on and annomosity toward positivism is that the world
as we "see" it has been largely constructed in our minds through our current faith in science. We
think science is the real deal, and so we look at the world that way. It's a way of seeing inside of
which we are trapped, but the essay allows us to poke holes in that vision of the world. We can poke
those holes anywhere we want, but it's best to do so within the confines of our discipline, in our case,

But we face an added danger that I think he doesn't address in regard to science, and that means we
have to avoid becoming carbon copy reactionaries like the Christian fundies. This has of course
simply come about as a matter of circumstance, a right wing power grab. So we need to temper our
questioning of science with a well considered logical sequence of actual evidence. Our conclusions
need to be solid.

So we need to question the way in which we look at the world as constructed without becoming or
enabling fascists.

Whatever - these are just some quick and unstructured thoughts and reactions to the essay, and I
am still in the middle of reading it.


breaking comp monotony

WELcome FOReign WORKers!



Openings Galore!

Consider a Career in Americop!*

White people White people White people Welcome!

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4 – Prison Inmate! Free room and board and on the job training! A real résumé builder!

5 – Nanny Temp Worker! Free room and board with opportunities for added income as a sex worker!

6 – Laundry Worker! Long hours bring in the big bucks! Room for advancement!

7 – Roofer! Work outdoors on your suntan and develop a muscular physique! Become a sex cymbal!

8 – Recycling Materials Recovery! Indulge an unrestrained treasure hunting urge! Extra income!

9 – Street Prostitution! A job for one with a creative imagination! Choose your own hours!

10 – Armed Services! Always hiring! Take charge of your future! Educational opportunities!

These Jobs and More! Truck Drivers! Prison Guards! Security! Cops!

This is the Land of Opportunity, an Endless Smorgasbord!

*(Americop enforces all equal opportunity laws and regulations and encourages diversity in the workplace and larger community)


Re: oops!

I think my thinking's changed a little in the
interim. My mind however is littered.

how does ur thinking stack up? six yrs ago,
to now?

fame (haha)

notebooks can properly be studied as important to evaluating his
writing as a process.

At the same time, Emerson unfortunately conflated and confused
process and product with person. The making of poems for Emerson
was one with a notion of identity. Despite the fact that his
theoretical poetics creates vast openings in an otherwise rigid
tradition of how poetry was and might continue to be practiced in
English, his idea that powerful poems translate into great men
(they are always men) clouds his work and continues to cloud the
thinking of scholars and writers today. Contemporary literary
criticism is filled with such nonsense, and this reflects in turn
on how literature is taught, written, and thereby disseminated.
Perhaps this is a form of mental illness, but such a psychological
examination into why we continue to insist on the greatness of
people with strong writing skills must remain open for later

To Emerson's credit, this notion of the greatness of the poet was
and remains a common but unfortunate attitude. He was unwittingly
subject to a prevailing and uncontested convention which was and
remains so widespread it continues to pass without comment! The
real question is: why do we perpetuate this blatant urge to
mythologize writers as better than innovative carpenters,
electricians, or teachers, for example? Ascribing greatness to
artists damages democracy. The failure to identify this faux pas
perpetuates and results in complicity with an endemic deceit and
fabrication. He or she who makes poems is not great due to the
quality of whatever gets made, and to claim that this is the case
only damages and marginalizes what we might otherwise achieve with
our arts. Worst of all, such notions of greatness lead us to
think of our predecessors as providing idealized models for that
which we strive to achieve; this is a dangerous and misleading
assumption. Romanticism is not a movement frozen in the amber of
academic periodization; those we know as Romantics rather
initiated a revolutionary movement in the arts which should be
understood as having nothing to do with celebrity and everything
to do with liberating humanity from rigid and prejudicial
limitations. How can this be possible through devotion to the
idea of celebrity and self-promotion in the hope that one might
become equally famous?


Re: what the lips say

the spondee occurs in these two words "How? wear"

Hastings is simply stage instructions - he's the speaker and not part of the text
when performed. He is part of the text when read, but that name doesn't get
scanned in terms of the spectacle.

If scanned, "Hastings" would be a trochee. Then you'd have:



If we were to include "Hastings" in the scansion, the line would be Alexandrine,
not pentameter.

ok, thursday. 6 pm. i'll bring the gulf. and the


im going over your response to my question about
scanning through caesuras. im not sure if i follow
your scansion notes. If i read it right, you're
scanning Hastings as a spondee. i'll paste what you
sent. lemme know if this is correct:

�Here's an iambic pentameter line from Shakespeare's
Richard III 3.2
line 41:
�Hastings: How? wear the garland? Dost thou mean the

It scans in such a way to violate the pure integrity
of the iambs, but in the end
that resolves - strong/strong weak/strong,
weak/strong, weak/strong, weak/strong
spondee (jumps the caesura) - iamb - iamb (jumps the
caesura) - iamb -


in case you're intersted

in case anyone's interested

the idea being a poem which is seen
to progress while exhibiting a
marked disillusion with
the idea of progress

it might begin then as -
machina rationatrix

Re: Re: (Fwd) Re: westville pub

yes - scansion jumps caesuras. It ends at
the line break.

I can't meet tonight. This will have to be
the week that got away.

Let's think ahead into next week. I have to
find that message from Ron. He
says Mon, Tues, Wed (later) Thurs eves are
best. What about next Thurs at
Barley's. Isn't later in the week best for
you also?

You know, I wrote that bit yesterday on line
breaks in haste so there are plenty
of holes. One could read from right to left
or entirely backwards, from top to
bottom or simply at random, but it happens as
one word following another.
Though that's not enitrely true either. Most
of us who read well read
unconsciously in phrasal chunks. Many poor
readers read ONLY one word at a
time, and some of those forget previous words
merely through the effort of
reading a new one. Line breaks can mess with
the phrasal chunk manner of
reading - it probably has some hocus pocus
terminology attached - I don't know
what that is

but I don't have time to go further into how
I think of line breaks now

my dog wants her morning walk and then it's
on with the day

I keep admiring my compost but need to mow
the lawn
I like that it's now growing with less
I might miss several days without fear of the
thick rising Whitmaniac mass


your book

You and I are about to meet, so I am taking the liberty to write.

First of all, I want to congratulate you on your book.

That's a very nice book looking. That picture you call a drawing looks like a
photo on the computer, but I'll take your word for it that it is in fact a drawing.

The big question is: do you feel different?

If so, how does that feeling break down?

If not, what does it mean to have a first book without sensing inner change
(whatever that means)?

I like books by other people, but the desire for one of my own stems primarily
from a need to prove myself to others (in terms of seeking employment should
that arise to tip the scale in my favor). For myself it (book) seems otherwise

Still, if I were to have a first book with a fine picture, I imagine that I'd feel
changed at least a little.

What would that do, I wonder. Would my I change and, if so, would that
change be positive?

But these are only small questions.

I've never actually been able to figure out how people get books.

I have several reasons why I don't care for a book of my own, but I realize that
as a minority opinion. If this were a jury decision, I'd be the reviled one.

Not that anybody else lusts after my book. Who does lust after new books I
wonder as well, books by all those millions who make little written?

I hesitate to call all those written chunks anything specific.

RE: quaint

I had to look that up.

What a horrid bed!

For a minute I thought it must be a bed covered with crustaceans,
sort of like an oyster bed. That wouldn't be very restful either,
but that Procrustean bed sounds especially nasty. And you can
still chuckle! That takes a depth of character and optimism
assuredly built on Emersonian principles.

Thanks for the chuckle. I have been stretched on a Procrustean
bed lately and it felt good to chuckle. I'll look into the diss.


That publisher bit makes sense. I don't see one. It's by Dorsey Rodney Kleitz,
1988. One of his chapters is on Emerson. It was mentioned in my proposal,
and isn't very relevant for my purposes. It's worth mentioning though since
there's been almost no work specific to the Persian material. Yohannan is the
man, and Yohannan is the only man. He did the heavy lifting and built the
foundation, so to speak, though his conclusions are often weak. These weak
points are great places to begin, this and the manner in which he ranks
translations=inferior, original material=superior, a Romantic and thus
antiquated notion, quaint (now there's a word, quite a word), thoreauly quaint.

RE: thesis schedule

Why don't we wait a bit before talking so that I produce some more pages with
substance, like next week perhaps. I am moving right along though slowly
(that's a contradiction, I know) as I try to neatly set up all the dull preliminaries.
Otherwise, the route through this chapter is laid out cleanly in my mind while
allowing for detours. Anyway, I can drive out there to WCU occasionally. I just
don't want to do it constantly since I am earning almost zero money, about
$100 per week, if you can imagine that. I need to go to the library since this
book of Emerson's poems has no front matter, though I'll probably try UNCA
first. Some stuff just cannot be sorted out online. What a piece of junk this
book is!

I did apply for graduation this past summer. Then I went in there (meaning
some WCU office having something arcane to do with grad studies) to tell them
I wasn't going to make it until the end of the current Fall 2005 semester and
they said okay no big deal. I have no idea what's up with that. Manuvering
through bureaucratic red tape isn't one of my strengths.

How can I tell whether a dissertation is published or not? I'm supposing this
one is published since it's owned by a library at a college which differs from the
university to which it was originally submitted, but I don't know why anybody
would actually want to read this thing! It's incredibly dull material. It's more
like a very long report on relating a Spanish vacation to college reading
materials, ugh. Some of these PhD's are very weird. Chapter 1: Irving; Chapter
2: Poe; and on and on, a true survey of American Romanticism. Talk about
pounding away at the obvious! Of course, he does seem to beat Saudra Morris
to "The Sphinx" as gatekeeper poem idea. That's an item of some minor
interest. And at least he seems to have read the books he's so fond of

Don't worry! I won't write the above sarcastic nonsense in my chapter (or at
least I'll make it sound more diplomatic).


Stephen, we need to talk.

Even Ploce Stephen!

Stephen, Stephano & Sleeve Ends

(not a law office)

one word after another

Hi Matthew,

(I think I'll send this message to Mark also. It'll maybe give us
more to discuss, eh?)

You asked me about line breaks and how I decide where these take

I think in terms of limitations. One word can only and always
follow another. This can be confused to a certain extent by
writing in columns without clear instructions on how these columns
are expected to be read, but even so, if a reader chooses to read
from left to right across the column breaks, or if the reader
instead reads down column one prior to reading down column two,
that reader still only reads one word after another. Written
poetry is always limited by this written feature.

We can moreover disturb line breaks by sharing oral presentations
with simultaneous speakers recruited to help in disrupting the
usual page enforced limitations.

All that is obvious, of course, but it requires mention when
discussing line breaks.

I think of line breaks as a means toward maximizing the residual
tension within each specific piece. This is the first

This line, for instance, might be considered within a workshop
setting as wrong. Somebody would inevitibly object to its

in twain; this, then, the

Such an objection however misses the point that such a line pushes
expectation. The reader needs an object which adheres but instead
is given only a series of words which point and delay an expected
inevitable resolution. Instead the reader receives an
enjambment, another deferral.

In the larger scheme, the semi-colon also stands as representative
of the looming departure. The Wyatt material ends and something
else begins, but it does so with a series of stutters (commas),
and those stutters are emphasized by the lack of resolution at the
end of the line. Something is about to appear or occur or
something, but what is it?

The line is effectively divided "in twain," but immediately
following that division, it is further subdivided. This is a five
syllable line with three strong caesuras.

It's not up to me of course to claim that it successfully creates
tension, but my intention was to build this line in order to
maximize tension.

Perhaps this line seems too contrived, I don't know. Poetry is
artifice, after all, and thus a contrivance.

I'm not sure if I am answering your question, but I do think of
line breaks as guided by the demands of the material. They land
where they land by the force of an inner necessity, and it's my
job to recognize that necessity.

Maybe it's personal.

It's odd to talk about my own poem in this way, I usually avoid
talking about what's going on in my poems.

Let's leave it at that for now.

I fool around with them, and a secondary consideration is how the
poem is intended to sound when read aloud, though this is more
variable and dependent upon circumstance. What seems right on one
occasion will probably seem wrong on another. It can boil down to
personal mood or the audience, how "they" respond to the material.

But the primary consideration is always how the words land on the

I didn't discuss end stops, some of which are false. That's also
quite interesting.

Poems, in any case, have everything to do with how words are used.
In that way they don't resemble any other kind of writing in the
least. A poem is close to the bone and more related to painting
than prose. I don't much think of poems as writing. A poem is
something which gets made or simply progesses without end. A poem
doesn't in fact conclude, and line breaks illustrate this
resistance against conclusion; they carry a fundamental
understanding, a knowledge of material transience.



the silence within

the silence within
the silence within has

laughing as its left a

woman who works as a hooker
I am quite captured by partials &

those who spent it all at once

let's gather in chapters that was
a paean about the failure to see her