Thursday, September 06, 2007

Over at

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.

3 comments:

RHE said...

Dear Pusillanimous & Profane, But Anonymous, Correspondent:

Yes, I suppose it is very shallow of me to assume that everyone is as much of a Philistine as I am. I'm now convinced that Those People are reading Proust in French, HaĊĦek in Czech, Tibullus in Latin, and Camoens in Portuguese. It was irrresponsible of me to judge them by my own lazy, masscult habits. As soon as I finish re-reading TV Guide, I'm going to get back to painting my velvet Mickey Spillane. Did I mention that it was paint-by-numbers?

Agnes said...

"It was irrresponsible of me to judge them by my own lazy, masscult habits. As soon as I finish re-reading TV Guide, I'm going to get back to painting my velvet Mickey Spillane. Did I mention that it was paint-by-numbers?"

I have a new box of crayons, and I'm thinkin' of gettin' a Pretty Pony coloring book. Insane. I don't even like horses.

Tence said...

>Did I mention that it was paint-by-numbers?<

That's above my head already. 1, 2, 4.