one of the very-impressed-with-itself Poetry Places posters are listing what's currently on their desks. Such a list. You should be such a Scholar-Mensch. Everyone is reading Yeats and Dante and Beowulf and The Complete Works of Bertran de Born. They are glancing through Cavafy and Murasaki and Seamus Heaney. They are idling away their non-ode-ing hours with Homer and Propertius and the untranslated Manilius and memorizing The Mutabilitie Cantos.
None of them is reading Elmore Leonard's new novel. They do not mention James Lee Burke or Charles McCarry or Philip Roth or Joseph Heller. They can't be bothered with Trollope or early Dickens. They spit on The Reivers and Sanctuary. Joseph Andrews? Scenes from a Clerical Life? Shamela? The Bab Ballads? I don't think so. They've got Buddenbrooks to think about.
I don't know which would be worse, if I believed them or if I didn't. If the first, they are prigs; if the second, poseurs. Anyway, I can't think about them anymore. I've got a velvet painting of Mickey Spillane to finish.