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.

1 comment:

michaelf said...

i think a lot of poets think of he mainstream as 'other' .. not just 'experimental' ones ie in jk's terms australian ones.. i cant help thinking its kind of hilarious - rhetorically - what jk does in saying this - but like jill, i think the elsewhere is a really interesting question - if were opposed to the status quo? are we agreed what such a thing is? is the anth an experimental or conservative take on experimentalism? it seems to be both at once. it could have foregrounded such poets, included more .. but wouldnt that be a rather conventional approach? often very formal poets think of themselves as being experimental & there are signs of new formalism here that is maybe displacing the free verse model?
hey laurie why dont you edit a followup to j tranters one for the english? ok - dont tell me why you dont - but it c/w/should be great