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John Beer
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In the spirit of PiL's American Bandstand appearance, I thought it'd be a good idea to share my guest spot with some guest guest contributors. *** I asked a passel of illustrious commentators to respond to this question: Can you recommend a "neglected classic," i.e. a work (not necessarily literary) that has real significance to you that you think is generally un- or underappreciated? (The "classic" language is by no means meant to limit things, temporally or otherwise.) And the results are in! Tisa Bryant: Eyeball A groundbreaking African diasporic literary publication from 1992-2002 edited by Jabari Asim and Ira... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
The work of criticism is always, let’s say, ephemeral; Saint-Beuve’s name survives only because Proust was against him. Even more fleeting are the reactions of the mere reviewer. “No serious critic can devote himself, frequently, exclusively, and indefinitely, to reviewing works most of which inevitably cannot bear, would even be misrepresented by, review in depth,” sniffs Renata Adler in her screed against Pauline Kael. So the outpouring of emotion in the wake of Roger Ebert’s death might seem a transitory thing; already, the passing of the Iron Lady (of whom more later) has moved him off the screens. The rise... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
This is perhaps my favorite piece of conceptual writing. *** Over the weekend I found myself in the judges' room for a high school Speech & Debate final (true story!). I asked one of the English teachers there whether poetry was a hard sell to her students, thinking I suppose of the oft-stated consensus that of all the genres poetry's the most resistant, the least popular, the swath of the textbook one rushes past to get to the plotty parts. "Not at all," she said, whether because they thrive on its intensity or simply through their tech- & hip-hop-enabled comfort... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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Apr 4, 2013