October 16, 2005

In NYC this week. It would not stop raining.

Last week, in preparation for talk at Poets House on Brathwaite, read Kamau Brathwaite's newest, Born to Slow Horses. I'm huge fan of his work. "Kumina" stands out in this collection.

Finished Pascale Casanova's The World Republic of Letters. It is hard to read, whether that is the fault of the translation or the original or both I cannot tell. I found the book eye opening. So ended up taking lots of notes, which might have also slowed me down. One of the best books of lit crit that I've read in some time just for the analysis. Casanova basically looks at how writers accumulate literary capital (which as she keeps pointing out does not necessarily cluster in the same places where economic capital is clustered). Nice critique of nation art (which I want to distinguish from nationalist art). Wonderful readings of Joyce and Beckett and their engagements with French. I love her phrase "aesthetic innovations of the Greenwich Meridian." Plan to steal this.

And also Nicholas Howe's Across an Inland Sea: From Buffalo to Berlin which I bought some time ago because it had chapters on Buffalo and Columbus, both places that I have relation with. Smoothly written.

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