File spoon-archives/phillitcrit.archive/phillitcrit_1998/phillitcrit.9803, message 34

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 15:15:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: PLC: Online Dark Ages

At 02:53 PM 3/13/98 -0500, you wrote:
>In fact, the "new formalists" would be quite annoyed at being called
>conservative. I popped this question to Dana Gioia at a panel discussion at
>Poet's House (before he skipped out to CA) and it precipitated a staunch
>denial.  In fact, most of the new formalists or expansive poets are prickly
>pears ready to fall on you (ouch!) if you suggest that they are
>Eric Yost

That was one of the points I was making in mentioning cultural "complexity"
earlier on this thread. People who are right of center mention the new
formalists and expansive poetry etc. as "theirs," but the situation is more
messy than that.

Nor do people who are basically left-of-center take it lying down when they
are labelled and pigeonholed as types or ideologies....

So once you get past the small number of standard cultural labels and down
into a certain level of detail in examining things, you end up with a
culture that exhibits a great degree of variety. Even its "subsets" exhibit
a certain messiness when you start to generalize about them from up close.
And on the other hand, things seen as different or opposite end up
overlapping in significant ways....

But if one wants to root for and against ideologies as others do for and
against sports franchises, thinking about that is only going to clog things
up for you, so "don't go there" as they say in ye olde vernac....

Greg Downing/NYU, at or

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