Which is number 9 on the Sigur Rós CD, repeat. Finished reading the short stories by Juan Villoro. In the penultimate one, a group of friends goes into the desert to find peyote. One of them gets lost for a night and kills a coyote with a knife after the animal attacks him. When he eventually finds his way back to his group of friends the next day, he is wearing the coyote's fur on his back, hallucinating from lack of food and water.


"[Dipesh] Chakrabarty's study also helps to clarify the ways in which we discuss and think of the 'high' cultures of the so-called developing countries: not only the ancient traditions, but the modern and Modernist ones as well. This is an area of self-consciousness, and a field of inquiry, that is potentially vast, important and problematic; it also happens to be one that 'cultural studies' has largely missed out on, being more concerned with popular culture and narratives of resistance to empire. Yet for almost two hundred years, in countries like India, there has been a self-consciousness (and it still exists today) which asks to be judged and understood by 'universal' standards. It isin't possible to begin to discuss that self-consciousness, or sense of identity, without discussing in what way that universalism both formed and circumscribed it.

In some regards, then, cultural studies is hostage to the kind of historicism that Chakrabarty talks about: it can't deal with the emergence of high Modernism in postcolonial countries except with a degree of suspicion and embarrassment, partly because of the elite contexts of that Modernism, but partly, surely, for covertly historicist reasons, such as a belief that no Modernism outside Europe can be absolutely genuine."

{ Amit Chaudhuri, "In the Waiting-Room of History," London Review of Books, 24 June 2004 }


Add to the reading list Ludovico Silva's brilliant book of essays on Venezuelan poetry, La torre de los ángeles (Monte Ávila Editores, 1991). Silva discusses the poetry of José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Vicente Gerbasi, Juan Sánchez Peláez, Rafael Cadenas, Juan Calzadilla, Alfredo Silva Estrada, Alfredo Chacón, Francisco Pérez Perdomo, Ramón Palomares, Elizabeth Schön, and the poets of the "Generación de 1958." Silva wrote these essays during the mid 1970s, and several of them appeared in El Nacional, although Monte Ávila did not publish them until shortly before his death in 1988.


I remember Carl Rakosi wore a purple baseball hat at Naropa the summer I studied there, in 1993. I attended his reading but I had not read any of his work and my notebook from the time has little mention of him or his poetry.


"Constante timidez
que permanece suspendida
en la recta asaltando desde su comienzo
y en la curva alargándose sobre lo extendido níveo
de lo siempre requerido."

{ Elizabeth Schön, En el allá disparado desde ningún comienzo, 1962 }

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