Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Lofty Anachronism

Lofty Anachronism

Ratings: (0)|Views: 21|Likes:
Published by Pam Brown
A review of the 'Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry in English', edited by Ian Hamilton. Reviewed by Pam Brown for the Australian Book Review, June 1994.
A review of the 'Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry in English', edited by Ian Hamilton. Reviewed by Pam Brown for the Australian Book Review, June 1994.

More info:

Published by: Pam Brown on Aug 22, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

08/28/2014

pdf

text

original

 
Lofty
anachronism
Pomelo
Brown
A
S
A
preliminaryl
mustsay,
A
franklp
that
Iam
hardlyinter-
I\
"rt"d
in
canonised
literiry
cul-
ture.
And
havingknown
for
a
long
timethat
it
is
absurd
to
criticise
theconventional
literary
establishmentand
then
expect
its
atEntion
or affection,
I
canalsosay
that
canonical
inclusion
has
never
beena
personal
aspiration."
However,
I
amalert
to
the
ramifica-
tionsof
theprocessesof
historicisation.
I
don'twant
to
sound
high-falutin'but
I'11
begin
with
Nietzsctrewho
began
hisenquiry into
the
value
of
history
with
a
gem
from
Goethe:
'L
a.y
case
I
hate
everything
that
merelyinstructs
me
without
augmentingor
directly
invig-
orating my
activity.'
'
Whyquestionhistory?It'spretty
mixed-upanyway
in
these
over-docu-mentedtimes
-
home-video,biogra-
phy,
autobiography,
factual
fiction,
bold
and
oftennakedlynepotistic
news-
paper,magazineand
TV profiles
and
so
on. Times
when
living
peacenikand
anarchistpoetssell
their
manuscripts
to
military
academiesand
writers
keep
copies
of
everyletter
writEn
(some-times
writing
tothe
famoussolely
for
a
response)
so as
to sellthe
correspond-ence
to
Statearchives.Perhaps
it
is
pointless
to
question
official
versionsof
history
when
it's
re-inventing
ibelf
in
populist
ways.
Whilehistory
has
beenfreneti-
cally
throwing
its
emptybottles
out
the
windowit
seems
as
if
OxfordUniver-sity
Presshasbeen
trying
to
savethelabels.
Thisis
not
exactlythe,OxfordCompanion
to
Old
Farts'C20
poetryin
English'but
it
comesclose.
It
issaved
from
theexpected
fustinesg
by
an
at-
temptto revise
thecanon
with
the
in-
clusion
of
some
previouslyinvisible
or
neglected
non-prize-winnersand,
in
relation
to
the
Australian
entries,
the
lon
Homllton
(ed)
The
OxfordComponionlo
TwentielhCenturyPoeiryin
English
Oxford
Unlverslty
Pres,
S59.
While
this
reads
a
little
likethe
fatherly
old
an-nals
of
the
British
Empire
buying
a
drink for
a
bunch
ofquarrelsome
colonials,it
is
at
least
an
attempt
to
redress
the
old-fash
ioned
domi
nanceo{
'Englishness'
as
a
measure
ofworthiness
exclusionof
some
still-productive
po-etswho
were listed
in
the
1985'OxfordCornpanion
to Australian
Literature'.Defrocked
maybe,
but
still
practising.
The
revjsion
is
mainly
concerned
with
the
'difference'between
USand
UKpoetry.While
this
reads
a
littlelikethe fatherly
old
annals
of
the
BritishEmpire
buying
a
drink
for
a
bunch
of
quarrelsome
colonialq
it
isat
leastan
attempt
to
redress
the
old-fashioned
dominance
of'Englishness'as
a
meas-
ure
of
worthiness
inwhat
is
a
British-
based
compilation.
Hence
some
dodgy
headings
like'Asian/American
Poetry'
under,which
a selection
of
poets
and
theirbook
titles
are
rnerelylisted.
Morepositively,
the
few
Aboriginal
Austral-
ians
are
granted
individual
entries.
Apartfrom
the
problemsinher-
ent
in
a
habitualpursuit
of
history
there'sthequestion
of
the
purpose
orintendedfunction
of
a literary
com-
panion
-
what's
it
for?
(It
certainly
doesn't
invigorate
or
augmentmy
writ-
ingactivities.)
I
N
THE
introduction
Ian
Hamil-
I
ton
calls
this
tome
'A
map
of
t
modern
poetry'and,
accordingto
him,
the map
changes
abouteveryten years
mostly
ds
a result
of
'fash-
ions'.Thisglibnessenables
a
swift
dis-
missal
of
at leastone
enormouspoetic
eruption:'Surrealism',he
writes,
'would
havebulked
larger'had
the
list
been
compiled
in
1950.
This
seems
a
shallow reflectionwhen
practically
every First
World
poet
writing
inEng-lish
since
dadaism
and
surrealism
has
been
influenced
by
thosemovements
in
some
way.
There
is
no
headingformodern-ism. Post-modemismalong
with
cut-up
and
deconshuctiory
gets
a
mention
under
'Language
Poetry',
dadaism
under
'SoundPoetry',
'Vorticism
-
see
Blast'.
Themetaphor
of
the
mapbecomes
apuny
clich6
in
an
age
of
over-the-horizonradar,satellitecom-
munication,
CD-ROM
and
other
electronic
databases.
'Who
needs
this
oldmap?'is
a
reasonable
question.The
editor
says
'I
want
it
to
be
seen
as
serious
and
useful,but
I
will not
mind
at
all
ifit
is
read
forfun,
as
a
kind
of
documentary-entertainment'.I'd
say
it's
about
as
muchfun
as
cricket
statis-
tics
in
winter
-
whichbrings
up
the
nextpoint.
He
also
gives
a
breakdown
of
numbersand
while
thereare
malepoets
who
are
oddly
missingthere
is,
yet again,an
unfair
neglectof
women.
The
overall
ratio
is
7.5
men
to
L
woman.Although
there
are
only
1
17
Australian
poets
(constitutingaboutone-fifthof
the
mostlywhite
poets
who registered
with
D.
W.
Thorpe'snational
referenceABRo49

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->