Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Preface to the Great Garcialorcathon
I returned recently to a draft post about the pile of Lorca that I was reading last summer, post-defense, the majority of which I had written close to a year ago. I didn't hit "publish" then because I was ambivalent about writing publicly about a topic that is so far out of my area of expertise, even though I was writing explicitly as a mere (!) reader and not as a critic or a professional. More, unbloggable more, has happened in the intervening year to make me even more wary. But I think about a conversation I had this semester, not with an academic but also not with someone completely removed from university life, and certainly not at all removed from a life of letters and mind, a conversation in which we just talked about books. We talked about what we liked to read. We talked about the value of memorizing poetry. It was one of those great, freewheeling conversations that saw John Lennon and F. Scott Fitzgerald share the same thought and sentence. And it was, without question, the single best conversation I'd had about literature in a very long time: the most invigorating, the most stimulating and the one that most made me want to run home and read more. And that made me quite sad about the state of the profession and more willing to embrace my status as a mere reader and as an amateur in the truest sense of the word.