1/13/2016

accuracy is an underrated virtue

I say I’m a scholar, but really I suppose I’m a collagist. One of the scholars I most respect recently told me that what I take for his erudition is really a scramble of patched-together surmises made to shore up his poetry. Perhaps I’ll say the same, someday. (And the poetry a scramble of patched-together surmises made to shore up the life?) I respect scholarship, though. I think accuracy is an underrated virtue, and bibliography the great, boring, important critical task. But it’s not an unliterary task. Think of Melville’s sub-sub librarian, at the beginning of Moby Dick, who establishes the ocean in which the great white whale will shortly be set loose.

- Amanda Jernigan, in conversation with Alexandra Oliver, over at Partisan. You can read the whole thing here.

No comments: