Friday, May 16, 2008

The Anatomy of Squandermania

I. "The Oblivion Arms"—one of the long, long-lost tales in my longer, longer-loster novel Dementia Americana—comes to a conclusion over at Five Chapters. I've enjoyed seeing it out there, and hope to publish more of DA soon...

II. Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy plays a big role in the "Arms"...and I'm not the only one obsessed! My sage and deeply hilarious Poetry Foundation colleague Don Share's recent book of poems, Squandermania, is also Burtonized to the max. Check out Erin Belieu's take in Boston Review:

Much like its ancestor, Squandermania springs from a gigantic, nearly overwhelming frame of reference, moving relentlessly from arcane economic and scientific theories (“ontogeny // recapitulates phylogeny,” or Gary Becker’s Rotten Kid Theorem) to Greek colloquialisms (“ardzi, bourdzi, and loulas”) to lesser-known Latin phrases and popular films. Dr. Evil’s “Boo-fricking-hoo,” from the Austin Powers movies, shares a property line with a reference to signum prefixum. No borough of thought or culture is off the map in Share’s verse; the imagistically goofy, grand, and obscure are all put to his poems’ service.

The other inspiration I can recall for "The Oblivion Arms" was Maurice Maeterlinck's Life of the White Ant.

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Blogger Nikita said...

"At this time he penned his first works on entomology. In 1926 he published La Vie des Termites (The Life of the Termite), plagiarising The Soul of the White Ant, researched and written by the South African poet and scientist Eugene Marais (1871 - 1936).[12] Marais' later suicide has been attributed to this act of plagiarism by some.[13] Maeterlinck's own words in La Vie de Termites indicate that the possible discovery or accusation of plagiarism worried him..."
---your Wiki-link..:)

7:44 PM  

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