July 12, 2004



Philip Sherburne checks in with more blog family tree farming:

"Sebald's books might be the kind of thoughtwork you're thinking of: walking across England and traipsing from a friend's house to a run-down community library, in each place finding a scrap (conversation, book, painting) to launch thought backwards 100 years or more before it boomerangs back to his present day, picking up tangential tuftings—Conrad's biography, the agricultural history of the lowlands, etc—to deposit at his feet.

Cyril Connolly's drifting word cycle, The Unquiet Grave (originally attributed to Palinaurus), might be the kind of aphoristic thought you have in mind, except that Connolly would've hated blogs: "The more books we read, the clearer it becomes that the true function of the writer is to produce a masterpiece and that no other task is of any consequence.... Every excursion into journalism, broadcasting, propaganda and writing for films, however grandiose, will be doomed to disappointment. To put our best into these is another folly, since thereby we condemn good ideas as well as bad to oblivion. It is in the nature of such work not to last, and it should never be undertaken." How very Adornian!

Perhaps more in line with O'Hara's Lunch Poems, Oulipian Harry Matthews has a book I can't find on my shelf called 20 Lines a Day, in which he set out to write 'twenty lines a day, genius or not.'"

I do not know and don't want to suggest without qualification, but Matthews and/or Queneau may have been catalysts for Jordan Davis' Million Poems blog.

Posted by Sasha at July 12, 2004 02:09 PM | TrackBack