Saturday, September 19, 2009

Being There: Facebook vs. Danny's Tavern

Robert Archambeau: I was all set to blog about Nicanor Parra and Roberto Bolaño, but talked my ideas out late last night after too much coffee at my favorite breakfast-for-dinner joint. Signs now point to no bloggery today: consider yourselves spared, people of earth!

That, people of earth, was my Facebook update this morning, but it seems I'm not much of a prophet: I'm blogging after all. Not about Parra and Bolaño, though: rather, I'm posting a Facebook exchange I had with Seth Abramson shortly after posting my update about the two Latin American poets and the late-night breakfast. Strangely enough, given my recent talking-out-live those comments that might have gone into a blog post, the exchange with Seth was about the relative importance of live and virtual discussions of poetry.

As I was scrolling around on Facebook, I ran across this, a provocative update of Seth's, apparently intended as a response to the developments in Chicago-area poetry that Kent Johnson, the present humble blogger, and others had been blogging about, as well as to Steve Burt's Chicago-heavy roster of "New Thing" poets. Those of you who don't waste hours in online social networking might be surprised by Seth's use of the third-person to describe himself. Rest assured he's not emulating Caesar's Gallic Wars: Facebook's format sort of encourages you to write this way:

Seth Abramson: thinks one can't apply pre-internet school-creation models to the Internet Age. Proximity is no longer a prerequisite for an aesthetic school. There is no New Thing or New Chicago School. Poets are inspiring each other from great distances, and to think it requires sharing a bar with someone to be like-minded/mutually-inspired is to take a literal view of how art moves that hasn't been relevant since 1980.

Seth, a veteran of many internet conversations, followed this up almost immediately with the following comment, designed to prevent people from jumpily assuming he was out to attack anyone's poetry:

Seth Abramson This is not to, in any way, denigrate the poets now being associated with those schools, who are (many of them) extraordinarily talented. Their work simply cannot be aligned, however, merely on the basis of either Flood Editions (The New Thing) or Danny's (NCS), etcetera. The world's a lot bigger than that now. Bigger than Chicago. Bigger than a single excellent independent publisher. We need to think about schools in new ways, and not listen to those who would have us trying to re-create cultural artifacts from the 50s and 60s.

Ah! I thought. This is interesting! And it's made all the more interesting in that it's a comment being made at exactly the same point in time that a bunch of Chicago's poetry people have gathered at the Hyde Park Art Center for a day-long conference on the poetry of our fair city (a conference I'd have been part of if I hadn't dinged up my leg in a cycling accident that still has me stuck with limited mobility for several more weeks).

The question of the relation of virtual networking and actual face-to-face contact became more vexed when I received, via Facebook, a Blackberry-sent note from Larry Sawyer, saying he was down at the conference. I messaged back, asking him to tell Ray Bianchi and Bill Allegrezza that I wished I could have been there. I was sure there were interesting conversations taking place down at the Art Center (and due to take place at Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap or some nearby taco dive later) of which I simply wouldn't be a part. At the same time, I was privy to Seth's online comments, and semi-involved in the Hyde Park event via Larry's trusty Blackberry and the good graces of Facebook. Which kind of proximity, real or virtual, mattered most? I typed out a reply to Seth:

Robert Archambeau: I agree that proximity is less important than ever, but I don't think it's completely over with yet. Let's call it residual and declining rather than obsolete. Like CDs.

The other big factor that remains, even in the internet age, is the whole old-school tie thing: networks of people who went to grad school together seem to be pretty important. The campus could be the new unit of literary history for a while.

Things got a little muddled after that, as Seth and I cross-posted (not that live encounters lack such confusion: had Seth and I met live, in, say, that favorite hang of Chicago poets, Danny's Tavern, we probably would have had to repeat ourselves over the din of the assembled literati, hipsters, and assorted bar barnacles):

Seth Abramson: Robert, I'm glad you mentioned this--I was about to add a comment about Kent Johnson's reference to Iowa. It's odd to think I would be more influenced by (say) Iowa classmates I never, in many instances, workshopped with or socialized with than--great example--Ron Silliman, whose work I first discovered through his blog. I am, without a doubt, an Iowa poet more influenced (now) by Silliman than any student I studied with at Iowa. MFA programs don't really traffic in influence in that way; my classmates all had their own visions. And Peter Gizzi affected me the most of any professor I had--and he teaches at UMass.

Seth Abramson: To add to my above comment, Robert: I mean to say that what happens between MFA students happens primarily, I think, post-graduation, not on campus. Those networks b/t peers who also become lifelong friends and cooperative readers. Brown--not Iowa--is actually the very best example of this.

Robert Archambeau: What I mean is this: people are likely to be in contact with the poets they met in grad school, likely to bear some relation to their prof's work (even if it is rejection), likely to stay in some kind of touch, likely to publish one another over the years, etc.

I take your point about you and Silliman. But I also think that even now, our face-to-face contacts still exert some influence. I think about the people I knew at Notre Dame, who almost all think of John Matthias as a hugely important poet. Very few people who went elsewhere seem to feel that way. And this is true even in a time when physical proximity is in decline.

Robert Archambeau: Looks like we cross-posted, Seth, and are more or less in agreement about all this.

Seth Abramson: I do agree--we must "meet" those who will influence us. Many of those "meetings" take place online or via books we read (i.e., often it is a unilateral "meeting" whose other half may never know it's even occurred). MFA programs allow some of these meetings to happen, even if the actual influence will exert itself over many off-campus years of contact through phone, e-mail, blog, or book publications. Kent's essay about the New Chicago School was so literal about "place" that he required all members of a school to be within not just driving distance of one another, but reasonable driving distance. Does this mean Peter Gizzi (Brown) is no longer influenced by Lisa Jarnot (Brown), because they both went there but then moved off to their own lives and pursuits (while remaining friends)?

When I left for more coffee, the conversation was still going on, with contributions from Angela Genusa, David Groff, and others. I'm hoping to check in on it later: I'm as interesting in hearing what went on there as I am in finding out what happened in Hyde Park. For now, at least, both kinds of conversations matter.


In other news, Johannes Goransson makes some important points about "Double Gesture," an essay I wrote for Boston Review about Lars Gustafsson and Frederik Nyberg, Swedish poets of different generations.

Also, Henry Gould continues his meditation on manifestos, which began as a letter about an essay I wrote for Poetry about the future of manifestoes.


  1. Hi Bob,

    I think John Matthias is a good example of how physical proximity is a sufficient but not necessary condition for influence. Needless to say, some of those who've attended Notre Dame for the MFA consider John's work significant, and I'm sure (and this is no slight to John of course) some do not; of those who consider it significant, some are directly influenced by it, and some are not (their assessment of it is at some remove, if such a thing is possible, rather than internalized); of those who internalize their reaction to John's work, some will find it a more significant influence than their reaction to the work of poets they've never met, and some will find it less so. None of this suggests (and I know we agree here) that place could possibly be a precondition to school, yet I've heard this indicated on somewhat regular occasion, by varying sources (often those within academia) not just from Kent Johnson (who, not coincidentally, I only know--and have only interacted with--virtually).

    My own history may be--anecdotally--relevant here. I first came across John's name ten years ago through a book I no longer use but made much use of at the time, Poet's Market. The only capacity in which I knew of John, then, was as an editor. Over the ensuing seven years I often submitted to Notre Dame Review and several times was published there. When I published my first book, I asked John to look at the ms. to see whether he might be able to say something about it--he'd been (he'd told me in the past) an admirer of my work from afar, so I thought he might see something in the collection worthy of comment. This led to several e-mail conversations, and--as or more importantly--led me to really seek John's own work out (both his poetry and his prose, some of the latter of which he was gracious enough to e-mail me).

    Needless to say (given the context of this conversation) I've never met John in person, and I doubt we've ever lived within several hundred miles of one another. While I'm sure any direct influence would be enhanced by physical proximity, it's no more necessary than any one of a hundred other considerations--like (above all) my personal finances, which determine when and how I'm able to purchase the work of others for a more permanent connection than a library would allow; or to pay for the internet connection that now lets me keep up correspondence with many poets I've never met. What the internet, or book-purchasing for that matter, altogether fails to do is nourish the spirit--and in that sense the local bar is indeed another order of experience altogether. But I think poets just as often use such social interactions as a respite from the exhaustion (dare one say "anxiety") of influence as a rushing toward it. I can discuss poetics from a great distance or across a table; I can't really discuss my life, or the lives of others, in any meaningful way from behind a computer screen--perhaps one reason poets rarely miss a chance for this latter form of discourse when physical proximity is in the offing, but are secular as to how other such conversations develop and how their influences are received and translated.

    Be well,

  2. Anonymous4:13 PM

    Correct me if I'm wrong, Seth, but haven't you said in the past that before your MFA experience you had very little in-person contact with poets, despite being close to Boston, etc., where an active "scene" has been in place for decades (and decades more) now?

    In what way are you qualified to dismiss geographic proximity when you yourself have had no experience with that kind of community outside of the confines of Iowa?


    George Soldano

  3. George,

    No, you've got (the first part) exactly right. But I don't think I've "dismissed" geographic proximity at all; it's important to distinguish between "fetishizing" place--which Kent Johnson has done--and doing something/anything that falls short of that. Not all objections to the fetishizing of place are dismissals. For instance, just today I've said the following about place (all quotes from the above):

    * "physical proximity is a sufficient...condition for influence"

    * "[S]ome of those who've attended Notre Dame for the MFA consider John's work significant...of those who consider it significant, some are directly influenced by it...of those who internalize their reaction to John's work, some will find it a more significant influence than their reaction to the work of poets they've never met..."

    * "[T]he local bar is indeed another order of experience altogether....[poets] often use such social interactions as a respite from the exhaustion (dare one say "anxiety") of influence as [much as] a rushing toward it...poets rarely miss a chance for this latter form of discourse [about their lives and those of others] when physical proximity is in the offing..."

    I also noted that place is not a "precondition" for a school, which is the current conventional wisdom. I said that poets were "secular"--meaning they could go either way--about whether they use geographic proximity to construct self-identities as writers. I said (in my Facebook postings) that it does not "require" place to form a school. And I noted that "we must 'meet' those who will influence us....MFA programs allow some of these meetings to happen..." I'm unclear: are you disagreeing with any of this, or are you a) saying that my past experiences disqualify me from this conversation, and/or b) stating (via negative implication) your own belief that school necessarily implies (in the most narrow, literal sense of the word) place?

    I think it'd be better to dialogue through that last question than to ask whether me spending two years in one of the nation's largest per-square-mile writing communities entitles me to have an opinion on how such communities function.


  4. P.S. I suppose a related question would be this one: Must we exclude from this conversation any poet who isn't a member of an online community of artists, as they wouldn't have the requisite experience to draw distinctions between online and real-time communities? [Fortunately, I do have experience in both types of communities, but I'm wondering whether I should be concerned that no Luddites be allowed a voice in this discussion?]. I'm sure you take my point: I find this discussion interesting, but not such rhetorical diversions as the one you proposed. --S.

  5. I was born & raised in Negative Capability, a small town in southern Minnesota. All the ambitious people left a long time ago. I commune with the local alfalfa. My poems make me happy, like my thresher-baler.

    What IS a "reader", anyways? Is that like a cricket?

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Well, let's see. I wanted to clarify that the post with my name that is marked "Removed by the Administrator" was just a harmless comment pointing out how part of a "sentence" had dropped out of the first "fast-forward" comment I'd sent. Last night, after hitting the Send button, I'd written Bob asking that he not post the two comments (the one that is now up I realized was a bit too much after firing it off--like someone typing with his nose in a straightjacket), but he only saw that email after he posted the two comments. So Bob for some reason deleted the second comment, but not the first one.

    The mix-up is sort of funny, since Archambeau is just beginning to offer comments on his blog, so Welcome to Poetry Blog Comments, Bob! Anyway, I just wanted to clarify that Bob did not delete that second comment because it was ad hominem, or something.

    Of course, I still think Seth Abramson is barking up a tree of his own projection, but no big deal.


  9. Just a quick note to say that I removed Kent Johnson's posts at his request, not out of any desire to censor him.

    I'm still learning how to handle this whole comments thing, and am about as technologically savvy as the average potato, so bear with me, if you will...



  10. On third thought, here is that comment again, with just a couple of insertions for sake of clarity, where mad typing had immolated the grammar.

    I didn't know Bob had a comments space.

    Seth, I saw what Bob reported of your conversation with him on Facebook (I have no idea how to access Facebook, so can't check that directly out), and now I have seen your comments here.

    I really don't understand this thing about my "fetishizing place." I mean, this vibrant and actively interactive community of poets *exists* and has for some time. I'm not inventing it. Chicago exists, too, and has for some time. Tehre are lots of poets who live in Chicago (or who have roots there adn have recently moved) and the scene is really interesting and these poets have created close relations and also animosities, of course. These varied relations have led to certain poetic affinities, collaborations, and pursuits that one can begin to sense and see (none of which one should "fetishize," since such things are always fluid, and reifying them ends up killing the notion of community, and so on), but this does not in any way mean that poets can't form communities on the internet, as obviously they have, and I never said they couldn't, even if I feel these are very different kinds of communities, so I feel like you may be sort of setting up a straw man here. Bully for communities on the internet! I'm just saying that this formation in Chicago and environs exists and its particular strengths and evolving character have more to do with place and space and lived embodied community more than they have to do with the internet. Not that some of these folks don't use email or have Facebook. But they also, through happy (sometimes unhappy) accident, constitute a physical constellation of individuals and so you have reading series and magazines and coffee shops and bars where they hang out and hold court and compete and act funny and awkward adn all the rest. People sleep together, too, something not to be underestimated in the formation of poetic community. I'm saying, yes, this is important, and it leads to things taht jabbering away on Facebook or email doesn't lead to, even if people on the internet, as I said, can also form "schools," or "movements," or whatever.

    If all this sounds like slightly annoyed stream of consciousness that's because it is. I don't know how else to respond to your complaint (and accusation that I have a foot fetish), because your complaint just doesn't make any sense. When poets gather, as the history of poetry amply demonstrates, things can happen. They are happening in Chicago. If you think you can do the same thing on Facebook, then go right ahead, and if you succeed, well, poetry will be the better for it, I guess. But why don't you move to Chicago and do it from there. Then you can compare the two kinds.

    And here's one last thing. Students can't form a School in a school. Like in a Creative Writing school. There are material reasons for this. But that might be another topic.


  11. Hi Kent,

    Thanks for your response. I think we're verb-ing the word "fetish" differently. To me it's a question of privileging place, of putting place into a particular hierarchical position with respect to those environmental factors that can give rise to "school." In other words, I don't use "fetish" to mean "invent"--of course you haven't invented a community from whole cloth, the poetry community in Chicago is very real and I've witnessed that both first-hand and via the online presence of its various members. But of course, too, "community" is not "school," and of course--I think it self-evident--that when someone says, as you did, that "the clos­est thing we presently have to a 'School' of younger, rig­or­ously inno­v­a­tive poets in the what I'll call the New Chicago School" one is, whether one acknowledges or foregrounds the decision or not, making a determination that at this point in literary history it is place that has made and is making school.

    But of course your analysis also comes with its own context--i.e., that "place" has always been treated as a pre-condition to "school," and that your analysis does nothing whatsoever to upset that apple-cart. My point was that it needs to be upset. It is possible for there to be a New Chicago School? Yes, in theory. And yes, "place" could contribute to such a school. But if such a school exists it is not a) strictly limited to those living in Chicago, and b) does not categorically contain virtually every single experimental writer in Chicago, simply by virtue of them having the same (or a similar) zip code.

    What's odd is that your initial post on this (elsewhere) also contains--in addition to the above series of unstated presuppositions--a strange contradiction. You indicate that place is necessary to this particular school, and then you say that, actually, what "holds it together" is "a vibrant, active scene and cer­tain broad affini­ties of poetic pre­dis­po­si­tion and--quite often, and with the nec­es­sary excep­tions--affect." In other words, you've identified the school by place but asserted that its necessary pre-condition is actually aesthetics. Fortuitous, then, isn't it--and I say this gently, not bitingly--that this aesthetic empathy matches up perfectly with physical proximity? One would rather think that, in the Internet Age, aesthetic affinity is far, far more likely to transcend the question of physical proximity than be slavishly tied to it.

    I don't want to get into a logic-game of deconstruction here, Kent, but the simple fact is that you've identified a single school of poetics in the United States, you've indicated that it's the only school now extant (see quote above), you've tied it rigidly to place, that's in keeping with a decades-long history of tying school to place, and now you're generously saying that there might well be many other schools in the U.S. which don't rely on a single physical space in the least. If I'm seeing back-tracking in this, I have to think I'm not alone. Your curious closing comment--which seems more designed to put detractors on the defensive than address the issue at hand--is ultimately a red herring, as I'd be absolutely amazed if you announced here and now that the Black Mountain School that arose out of and in Black Mountain College does not and never did exist.

    Of course, I could also just quote you again and answer all these open queries at once: "The point I'm trying to make, though per­haps I don't even have to, is that you don't need--as again, the New York poets proved, or the Black Moun­tain poets proved, or the Beats proved, or even the Objectivists proved--any kind of solid critical-​philosophical frame to con­sti­tute a vig­or­ous 'school,' or even ten­dency, of poetry...All you need is a locale(s), smart ambi­tious people, and a cer­tain affec­tive habi­tus (often found in tav­erns) that is friendly, con­tentious, gos­sipy, mutu­ally sup­port­ive, and pro­fes­sion­ally inces­tu­ous to some degree."

    Be well,

  12. P.S. Just to lighten the mood (I hope that's okay?) I think this link might speak to where we are right now, generally speaking, in internet discourse).

  13. I'd be surprised if there are any hard & fast rules about artistic developments, which are far more unpredictable than the weather.

    & I don't think Kent has contradicted himself, by celebrating what he sees as an incipient mix of place, personal proximity, & shared poetic leanings.

    Though I tend toward the ornery solitaire myself, I think vital "scenes" & relationships are a sine qua non. They've certainly been pivotal in my own experience.

    Poetry's an embodied art par excellence. You can't divorce it from oral performance without desiccating its roots. Live recitations & discussions give essential reality checks to all kinds of literary mystifications & immature conceptions (as well as, unfortunately, providing platforms for cliques & snob-operators). I don't think the internet can replace these performed, embodied, "realized" activities.

  14. Seth,

    OK, let me try to respond to some of what you say.

    >To me it's a question of privileging place, of putting place into a particular hierarchical position with respect to those environmental factors that can give rise to "school."<

    Well, yes, this is true. I admit it. I am not sure what principled distinctions you feel there would be between "place" and "environmental factors." But I am saying that place/ locale/geography, however you wish to put it, is--in the case of this interconnected group in Chicago--the ground from which a noticeable, dynamic habitus of personal association and poetic interaction has arisen. Out of this general context (which, again, "place" has obviously enabled), one might sense, as I suggested in my post, certain emerging affinities of taste, "style," poetic attitude, and so on. The latter are very broad, very incipient, and I purposely don't make major claims or assertions in their regard. It's good--and necessary-- that there IS that indeterminacy at work. I'm not saying this group is like the New Criticism, or something; in some ways it seems to me more like a version of the first and second generation NY poetry scene, circa 1965, say: Everyone is quite different, but there's a kind of "feel" or "leaning" or "attitude" in the air (or so I imagine!), a shared enthusiasm for the developing of a community and its poetic investigations. Maybe to you this all sounds too "materialist" a way to put it. But place is the base from which, in the last analysis, as they say, the superstructure of poetic relations flows! (Though of course, conditions of the superstructure, insofar as they are also constituted by elective aesthetic affinities and allegiances, can dialectically affect the base, too: key poets can get pissed off or get pushed aside and move out of town, for example, etc. Isn't Marx great?) And I think I am pretty clear about this in the original post, so the contradiction you perceive (though not that contradiction's bad!) between my discussion of "place" on the one hand and "aesthetics" on the other, you can see, is based on your misreading. Though one of course might always put things better...

    Seriously, Seth, I still don't see what is really driving your complaint. I am not saying, to repeat, that there can't be other groups. There are. I say so in my post. And some of those can be primarily internet driven, or be decidedly hybrid in the sociology of their constitutions, like Flarf, for example. The point is that THIS phenomenon in Chicago is emerging primarily out of the old school way of things, in similar manner to how every single school that *has mattered* in our poetry has emerged.

    By the way, though there can be overlapping qualities, it's important not to confuse "Schools" and "Movements." It's much easier to start a "movement" on the internet.

    And on this:

    >Your curious closing comment--which seems more designed to put detractors on the defensive than address the issue at hand--is ultimately a red herring, as I'd be absolutely amazed if you announced here and now that the Black Mountain School that arose out of and in Black Mountain College does not and never did exist.<

    In fact, the "Black Mountain School," though I know I mention it in passing with other cases in the post, is the loosest and most problematic of "Schools." Its "existence," actually, IS questionable. And in fact, inasmuch as one can see it as "existing," its origins would not be located within Black Mountain College, but in a singularly intense correspondence between Olson and Creeley. So I guess I do have to amaze you, there.

    This is interesting. Thanks for your response.



  15. I'd love to read your comments about Bolaño and Parra. Hope they show up here sometime.

  16. Hi Kent,

    I'm afraid this is probably a longer conversation than I have time for--I'm absolutely swamped with reading for my classes. The good news: anyone who wants to can read your essay on Digital Emunction, and read your comments here, and determine whether the claims about place, and school, and the New Chicago School in particular, were considerably more forceful in that essay than they have been here. Had you merely said that place is one possible factor in school-creation, and then indicated that the New Chicago School is merely one of many schools now forming or formed, I would merely have pointed out that the poets you cited have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with one another artistically--indeed, could not be more different in every possible sense. Because (I felt) you went quite a bit beyond those simple assertions, I pursued this line of questioning a little further. But again, anyone who likes to can judge for themselves. Be well,


    P.S. I'm fairly certain that your claim that attending the IWW, and/or becoming part of an aesthetic cadre of IWW grads post-graduation, can produce "the period tachisme" but not a school is a paradox. But then, allowing for any school-building elements in perhaps the largest per-square-mile poetry community in the United States would, I know, have done further (and irreparable) damage to an already flimsy premise, so I do see the rhetorical necessity of the exclusion.

  17. Great Seth,

    I have 18 credits-worth of classes here to teach, myself.

    While certain affinities can certainly be discerned among some of the poets (as Steve Burt has also pointed out), I'm not sure why you highlight the poetic differences among many of the people on my list. I never denied that differences were there (I say so in my original post and I stress it in my comment to you above). What you don't seem to grasp is that strong likenesses of style or (do they still say this: "voice") are not a precondition for the identification of a poetic School. The most important poetic schools are always marked by variety and idiosyncracy in that regard (the NY poets, Seth, pay attention).

    Anyway, you continue to misread and just plain invent, and I'm beginning to wonder what the heck kind of reading skills they are teaching you folks there at the IWW!

    I really think you'd do best to leave this temporary fetish of yours alone...



  18. Kent, I tend to take your position on this. Although, Seth’s position, if it were the case, would be far healthier for poetry, yours, I think, is the grim truth of the matter. We see this not only historically but in action all the time: poets in physical proximity, meeting, socialising, forming cliques, scratching each other’s backs, conspiring behind closed physical doors etc., all for the purpose of gaining reputations. Such methods would be difficult if limited to online interactions, which, by and large, insist on more open and honest interactions.

  19. Yes, due to the miserable imperfections of human nature (not to mention all that body odor), it would be best if in future people desist from public gatherings of all kinds. Remain in your homes, people. Thank God for the internet!

  20. Henry, I’m just pointing out the likelihood of such things happening in most real-world literary groupings, as opposed to the lack of their likelihood occurring via online networking. It seems to me, that more is achieved in real-world literary groupings because people who know each other physically (in the non-Biblical sense, of course) are more likely to help each other (for good or bad reasons) than those who just know each other via email are.

  21. Kent,

    I apologize for ducking out--lame, I know, but remember that I'm in the first three weeks of a Ph.D. program, so it's an intense time for me. I'm sure you can understand. Remember, too, that I made a comment on Facebook about this, I didn't blog it; i.e., I didn't realize I was really starting a conversation, which (I hope) makes me saying my time has been limited of late a little less cowardly.

    But I do have to take issue with the notion that I'm "inventing" things. I don't do that, Kent, and that's not a fair allegation on your part. You can say I'm misreading you, fine, but I think my good faith is illustrated by the fact that I'm also quoting your essay back to you. I maintain that you made different allegations in that essay than you have here; I'm fairly happy to say that most of what you've written here has been extremely reasonable and I agree with it.

    I also would prefer--like you--not to be misquoted or misconstrued. I never said that the internet is a better proving-ground or hothouse or whatever for school-formation, merely that to the extent you're saying now that culture--not aesthetics--creates school, that's the best argument yet for school knowing no limits of physical proximity, for certainly culture does not. Again, I would say more, but I just think this is really a much, much longer conversation.

    Be well,

  22. Seth,

    Fair enough. Excuse my early morning grumpiness. No hard feelings here, at all.

    Good luck with the program you've started at Harvard, there.