“Hurry to join shock brigades!”

What advantages and risks do untenured colleagues face when they try to combine the roles [of poet and critic], a problem largely but not entirely institution-specific?
-from Heather Dubrow’s “Two roads diverged?Jacket2, June 8, 2015.

On the one hand, [T.S.] Eliot wants to reserve a privileged place in the English critical sphere for poet-critics; on the other, he wants to protect them from shouldering too much of the burden of critical labor […] The immense weariness of Eliot’s poetic voice […] is the voice of a writer who feels called on to do too much, to do things that are against his true nature, and whose lyrical achievements have come about only through hard labor and stolen time. His poetry is designed to sound as if it were the product of an intense internal struggle, as though it were an attempt to wring feeling out of an exhausted shell. It is this affect, more than any particular principle or methodology, that Eliot bequeathed to the poet-critics of his generation and the next: the glamour of overwork, of near exhaustion…
-from Evan Kindley’s Poet-Critics and the Administration of Culture (Harvard UP, 2017).

~ by Michael Leong on April 2, 2018.

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