the art of recklessness

I admit it. I’ve been googling myself again. It’s Sunday afternoon. I’m stalling. Around page nine of my name –a few entries away from the really strange link asking if I want to find intelligence on my father–I stumbled across (not to be confused with Stumbling Upon, which would have been way less creepy) an excellent review in The Rumpus of Dean Young’s The Art of Recklessness by Darcie Dennigan. The review includes Walt Whitman’s semen in a conch shell, Peter Pan, Gertrude Stein on a spring day, and lots of oceanic hullabaloo, including shipwrecks. I’m always quoting Leopardi: How easeful to be wrecked in seas like these.


The Art of Recklessness

I’m reading Dean Young’s new nonfiction book, The Art of Recklessness, part of The Art Of Series from Graywolf Press. Only 30 pages in, and I feel like I’ve swan dived into the swirling, dangerous waters of Young’s unbelievably complex collector’s brain. I love it. Here’s a review.

On page 12, Young quotes Wallace Stevens:

It is necessary to any originality to have the courage to be an amateur.

This is the exact idea I want to relay to my students when school starts next week. Not being shackled to rules, allowing poems to fall out of you un-self-consciously, is what makes great art. Learning craft so that you don’t have to think about it should probably happen simultaneously, but without imagination, recklessness, fire you’re fucked.

This is a different kind of book, one that might be the most important kind. I’ll follow up when I’ve actually finished reading it.

August 12th, 2010 / 8:26 am