Friday, October 10, 2003

Reading Nicole's blog fills me with respect for those who actually know the (quite wonderful) names for plants and flowers and trees and things. My upbringing was so thoroughly suburban that I managed to evade both street-smarts and an intimate knowledge of the outdoors. Strange that I'm so drawn to the concept of pastoral when I know so little about actual nature; or not so strange, given that pastoral is always a fantasy of nature with only tenuous connections to the real thing. In classical poetry it's the georgic and not the pastoral where Virgil or someone struts his knowledge of agriculture. Pastoral is an attempt to reconcile or efface culture in favor of the nature within, which puts it in the realm of psychoanalysis and Rousseauist revolution. I may have to drop the entire concept and just go straight to the texts that interest me. Reading Jameson's Marxism and Form again makes me want to dialecticize my criticism—to understand my own investment in whatever interpretive lens I happen to choose—and not just burble happily along picking hermeneutics at random.

Maybe I'll read some poems now.

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