Pith and Gist


  1. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison June 3, 2009 at 3:18 pm .

    Joel: I&#39;d revised your terms just a bit. &quot;Playing games&quot; and &quot;not giving all the answers&quot; to me amount to the same thing. They don&#39;t necessarily make for bad writing: most novels, from Stephen King to Cormac McCarthy, rely on such things; if you read and or saw the film of <i>No Country for Old Men</i> you&#39;ve seen excellent examples of &quot;not giving answers.&

  2. Mairi
    Mairi June 3, 2009 at 1:23 am .

    P.S. I just came across your welcome message. Thanks for that. I do indeed have a blog of sorts at http://tlssecretpoems.blogspot.com/

  3. Mairi
    Mairi June 3, 2009 at 12:05 am .

    My suggestion that you not go on too long was only meant to reassure you that I wasn’t necessarily asking you to do hours or days of work. The something is better than nothing line of thought. But your more is more and I appreciate it. I like the idea of orienting values, and as Brian has suggested above, that term seems more approachable and immediately useful than ‘poetics’ which has

  4. jejacobson
    jejacobson June 2, 2009 at 10:52 pm .

    These are great!! I like the distinction between puzzling and mystery. Do you think there’s a difference between playing games with the reader and just not giving him/her all the answers?

  5. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison June 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm .

    I like the notion of "conversationalist." It gets us away from the poet-as-priest with his back to the congregation, and the poet-as-lecturer-and-Chief-Theorist, poet-as-Führer, etc. One of my ancient favorites, Catullus, is a conversationalist at his best; only in his his weakest poems (61-64) does he put on the mask of The Poet with some very dull results. If Romanticism and the humanist

  6. brian (baj) salchert
    brian (baj) salchert June 2, 2009 at 3:22 am .

    This is certainly far more valuable than playing the what-school-of-poets-are-you-in game.<br />Because I have been reading Owen Barfield’s <B>Poetic Diction: A Study in Meaning</B> too slowly, I decided to go to the last pages. While meaning is important to Barfield, there I found that pleasure is too. "If not the prime <I>object</I>, pleasure is undoubtedly an excellent test, or mark, of the

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