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- in Poetry, vol. 187, n. 1, October 2005
- In the end, the desolate age always turns instinctively to Classicism, which if nothing else legislates against certain kinds of disappointment.
- I’m always amused by those commentators who nervously insist that the working class’s constant use of the word fuck is really just “a form of punctuation.” It is, however, no more or less then what they dread: an inexhaustible river of smelted wrath, a Phlegethon of ancestral grievance.
- My late friend hated book-jackets, and ripped them all off immediately. I think he felt, somehow, that the book was still trying to sell him its contents after he had paid for it (or turn him in, if he had stolen it). Dejacketed, the book is anonymous and valueless. To translate something immediately into this state is an unequivocal act of proprietorship. You remove a book-jacket just as you make a lover naked: before their complete possession, they must be removed from the currency.
- Postmodernism will soon be confirmed as the American academic orthodoxy because it permits, ultimately, the summary dismissal of that last great inconvenience to the free and democratic intellect: the primary text.
- Yes, I know Marcus Aurelius or Vauvenargues or Chesterton has already said this, and far better; but let’s face it—you weren’t listening then either.
- I never fail to be mystified by those who regard the revision of a former opinion as a sign of weakness.
- The audience will always feel far more generous if, as some point in the evening, a little time has been found for them to applaud themselves.