Saturday, April 29, 2006

Noted, received, audited

With amusement: Michael Blumenthal's farewell letter to his poetry writing students, which puts paid to much of the mushiness all too prevalent in creative writing programs.

And Stephen Budiansky's Times op-ed piece on the branding of American higher education.
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An influx of bookage: from Jeff Twitchell (proprietor of the absolutely essential Z-Site for Zukofsky research) a bundle of recencies by J. H. Prynne, including the pamphlets (that's English for chapbooks) Acrylic Tips and Biting the Air, and a copy of the hard-to-find lectures Stars, Tigers and the Shapes of Words. I can't wait to read, once I get through this stack of papers.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the local used bookstore divulged a copy of the 1967 Pennant Key-Indexed Study Guide to Homer's The Odyssey, by Guy Davenport, Ph.D. I won't tell you what I paid; look it up on abe.books, and rest assured that what it cost me would make a bookseller weep. (That's okay – these good folks have gotten enough of my money in the past, & will get enough in the future.) I'm always fascinated by the spectacle of a really interesting writer taking on scutwork – LZ's Index of American Design writing, for instance, or Pound's music reviews. And this one even has the advantage of Guy's own drawings of Achaian armor & suchlike.
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& the weekly random 10:

1) "Lathe of God," Painkiller, Guts of a Virgin
2) "Lanterns," Killing Joke, Democracy
3) "Hal-an-Tow," Oysterband, Trawler
4) "St. Valentine's Day," Mekons, I Love Mekons
5) "The River," Brian Eno
6) "Tincans," Oysterband, Ride
7) "Sixteen Dances X," John Cage
8) "Coney Island Baby," Tom Waits, Blood Money
9) "My Lady Careys Dompe," Philip Pickett with Richard Thompson, The Bones of All Men
10) "One of These Days," Velvet Underground, Gold