Thursday, November 24, 2005

George Szirtes digging Jeff Bridges

"Paterson points to the twin dangers, as he sees them, of Populism on the one side and Postmodernism on the other. I'll leave Postmodernism out of it because it seems to me he uses the term loosely to mean people who are in fact Modernists in the post-Poundian sense. I am more interested here in his idea of Populism. He never quite defines the term, talking merely about "chicken-soup anthologies full of lousy poems". I have an idea what anthologies he might have been talking about, but it would have been good had he pointed to a few examples of lousy poems as illustration, for lousiness is a self-validating term. "Yeh, well that's just your opinion, man," as the Dude says in The Big Lebowski. I don't see why anyone should have a problem with chicken-soup. Nor would anyone who was genuinely hungry. What are they supposed to do? Starve until they can eat what the committee has chosen to call cake?"

This year's T S Eliot lecture taking issue with last year's T S Eliot lecture.

My brain has got so bent out of shape that I can't stop myself suggesting that the phrase 'genuinely hungry' is also the phrase 'genuinely Hungary' in disguise.

Looks to me like Jeff Bridges's gaff rocks pretty hard.

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