Nicholas Ripatrazone has posted an enlightened appeal for more literary magazines in creative-writing classrooms (over at Luna Park ) - and for students to read them before they submit work to them.
But one part tripped me up. He recalls having stumbled upon some poems by a novelist in a lit mag and comments, "Something about such genre jumping seemed freeing; I would learn that such freedom was endemic to literary magazines."
Endemic? Now, novelists have written poems ever since there have been novels - and there are novels and plays, etc., by poets, memoirs by playwrights, etc. And it's not like literary journals are en masse including "other" or "trans-genre" as a generic category (save with some shining exceptions like Hotel Amerika or Fringe). It's still the Big Three, when it comes to officially approved genres. So, I have to wonder what the excitement here is all about.
A few lines later it becomes clear what Ripatrazone means: "The poem had felt like prose . . . ." Well, in my view, there are way, way too many poems that "feel like" prose - i.e., that interrupt the cadences of prose with arbitrary and unnecessary line breaks. To me, that's not freeing, that's irritating. And the fact that a novelist can do it doesn't make it any less irritating.
I think maybe what's at issue here is the (unconscious?) co-optation of the term "mixed-genre" (or "multi-genre") by the literary establishment. Instead of meaning a text that combines the conventions of, say, poetry and fiction, verse + prose, it comes to mean (get this) - a novelist who also writes poems!
In other words, a term describing a literary trend that is, if not new, certainly coming into its own is re-purposed to describe something that has been going on for hundreds of years. One could come up with a worse definition of ideology.
TOP STORIES “In his debut as a Times Op-Ed columnist, Bret Stephens says reasonable people can be skeptical about the dangers of climate change” - … oh well, I guess that’s true and I can verify it by the fact that there are reasonable people who believe that white people are more intelligent than oth...
1 day ago