Thursday, 29 January 2009
more on the anthology
I'd agree pretty much with Jill Jones' comment on the Penguin anthology when she takes issue with John Kinsella's suggestion that 'experiment' is now the mainstream. Jill says that the mainstream is still very much the kind of 'free-verse' expression of the individual that gets taught in so many writing schools (not the good ones). If anything the recent 'return to the lyric' is the same thing as this in a slightly more sophisticated guise. Of course it all depends on what we regard as 'mainstream' and whether or not it's the result of critical or popular consensus. I'd say there was a definite conservative edge to the anthology though paradoxically the mode of its assembly isn't necessarily a conservative one. Or maybe I mean the opposite to this (i.e. conservative structure, not-so-conservative choices). I'd be curious to know how others feel about the principles the anthology suggests it is observing.