Saturday, May 19, 2007

What Would Hawthorne Say to Aaron Barlow and Scott McLemee?

Aaron, sorry for what I said about your ancestor in "P's Correspondence"--I was trying to do a Poe send-up, and, well, it took on a life of its own. Actually, I was just trying to answer Scott's question about 9/11 novels by reference to the impossibility of treating the Mexican War in epic poetry. Things happened. No hard feelings?


AaronBarlow said...

Now, I'm not sure what you said about many-greats-uncle Joel... but if you said he was a bad poet, well, I'm right behind you!

His only good poem, I think, is "Advice to a Raven in Russia." And his Preface to "The Columbiad" is almost mind-numbing--his poetics was naive, at best.

The Constructivist said...

The money line is the end of the P.S., "And does he meditate an epic on the war between Mexico and Texas, with machinery contrived on the principle of the steam-engine, as being the nearest to celestial agency that our epoch can boast? How can he expect ever to rise again, if, while just sinking into his grave, he persists in burthening himself with such a ponderosity of leaden verses?"