Heaney is great. He makes complex, profound meanings clear. I thought clarity was outré. Heaney hasn’t written a magnum 700 page spooj-laden opus on tennis and corporate sponsorship has he? Has Blake Butler’s blog lost its edge?
Seeing Heaney’s face here surprised me, because he was a poet of conscience, and was known internationally for that. Blake’s work and Rauan’s work (Rauan’s a friend of mine) as well as their statements online have aligned them with writing they think operates outside of ethical considerations or conscience. I know Rauan honestly admires Heaney, but Blake and Rauan misread McCarthy, Frederick Seidel, DeLillo and others AS artists who write sans wimpy considerations like conscience. Even if that’s what McCarthy or Seidel think they’re doing, their work is better and smarter than that. So for me, touting the greatness of Heaney on this site while consistently representing writing of conscience as fusty or old-guard is just stupid. It pissed me off. I need probably four or five paragraphs to lay this out more coherently. I’ll shoot Rauan a note with that in the next couple of days.
yeah and grinding an axe on a post which i can only assume was set up by rauan to eulogize him is in bad taste. why not guest post those four or five paragraphs that are missing from your argument/beef with rauan’s and blake’s writing and come at it full assualt? at least then people would be able to properly respond.
thanks for posting this, man…. and, yeah, i’ve encouraged Phil to send me a developed criticism.. he is indeed a good friend of mine (he was one of my 1st friends at school in Dallas when i was 13 and just relocated from South Africa… but that being said comments like “So for me, touting the greatness of Heaney on this site while consistently representing writing of conscience as fusty or old-guard is just stupid. It pissed me off” are putting a strain on that friendship because yeah like you said he’s just coming off as a common “troll”