Sunday, October 30, 2005

Silliman Recants! Avant/Quietude Dichotomy Dies!

Though I've never posted twice in one day before, I've got to leap in with this late-breaking newsflash: Ron Silliman has recanted.

Surrounded by reporters and nearly blinded by the flashbulb-popping paparazzi, Silliman stood on the front doorstep of his home Saturday and read a brief statement:

In the process of writing these notes, day after day, I've learned far more than I could possibly have imagined when I first embarked on this process. The most obvious example would be that I had to give up my 1970s-centric map of the poetic landscape & replace it with one more appropriate to the 21st century.

Okay, the bit about the paparazzi and whatnot is just scene-setting, but the statement itself is real. No, really — check it out.

So the Avant/Quietude distinction is, quite possibly, dead (though we'll have to wait to see if it lives on in some hideous afterlife on syllabi and in academic articles). Now what? I wait by the poetic tickertape with bated breath...

For a suddenly dated discussion of these issues, see the post below. (Note that, in the new climate of glasnost, the younger generation may come to see Silliman as a kind of Gorbachev, not the Brezhnev he seemed to have become).