Wednesday, 16 January 2013

two interviews

Also just out from Shearsman, concurrent with a US edition of Edward Dorn’s Charles Olson Memorial Lectures, is Two Interviews (ed. Gavin Selerie and Justin Katko). The first interview, conducted in Vancouver in 1971 by a group of people finds Dorn in two minds about his Fulcrum volume The North Atlantic Turbine; it is both an important book and one he feels he will never read (or read from) again. Partly this is because the book seems (to Dorn in 1971) to be made of ‘parts of a verse practice which was ending’. External noise at the venue and occasionally muffled sound made this tape impossible to transcribe without gaps but it is contentious enough to be worth reading. Gavin Selerie’s interview recorded a decade later sees Dorn reflecting on his period teaching in England and is altogether a more considered outing. The book also contains some hitherto unpublished pieces by Dorn. It’s a big bang for a small book. Katko’s general introduction notes the unusual instance of Dorn’s Collected coming out with a British publisher (Carcanet). Dorn himself seems to have picked up a great deal from the scene here but that hardly explains a seeming lack of interest by publishers at the other end.

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