2.27.2007

it'll most likely go in as girls girls girls; I dreamed a bunch of titles last night but didn't write them down -- they started along the lines of color commentary, custom color, style catalog, perennial color, blah blah

the problem with girls is that it is exactly what the poems are about, that the idea of girls is commercialized, sexualized, a product, and the style on the surface only obfuscates the meaning and existence therein

in another development, re-reading lola ridge's ol' lecture re: why are there no great female writers -- by which she means, I think, why do we only have a dozen or so european female novelists from 1600-1900 -- she mentioned assuredly minor Selma Lagerlof who was the first woman to win the nobel -- this sort of "looking for greatness defined how, perhaps by who receives prizes" always a tricky business -- in any case, ol' Ridge, obviously a Jane Austen hater, not liking George Eliot much, and surely not Charlotte Bronte, Mary Shelley -- because surely a "one hit wonder" isn't GREAT as Huysmans! oooh nooo -- and surprisingly then lists a litany of very minor male aesthete / decadent poets wondering why they have no female peer -- for which we can easily say -- morality -- or -- look at some of the novels, stories, and letters written by women, especially courtesans, et.al. from the same time period for a comp -- it becomes clear that she is looking inside the accepted world of literature

so common at the time period -- such an ordinary and hateful speech, of course written for money -- the idea of "no GREAT women artists, saints, heathens" being a whipping horse for -- dunno -- fundraising?

"There is no woman among the great penitents of literature.
When we come to the question of form--or spiritual unity--in the work of women, we find it generally weak. If a work of art has good form--if the various parts are correlated into a perfect whole--the mind, in retrospect, should be able to encompass it in a single gesture. . But this masculine sense of form, this completeness as of a whole, is usually missing in women's work."

Now here, I perk up, still working on the awp talk, and knowing that she is self justifying her switch to form (which she was not the site of her talents) and her unpublished long work

then she starts blathering on assuredly minor lagerlof

and making some strange lists

male
organization
form
civilization

female
inspiration / genius


In 1894 Lagerlöf met a fellow writer Sophie Elkan (1853-1921), who became her lifelong companion. Well, except for some guy. And Lagerlof didn't die until 1940. In any case, Elkan was author of a bio of a Swedish king.

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