J. Latta, as always... Lights are on, somebody's home. He has a fine-grained way of reading... I think I stand back more & look at the picture from a slight distance. Take his Crane "Cape Hatteras" comments of today. Faulkner's telling a tale, with his droning southern rambling drawl-whisper. Crane, on the other hand, is painting a mural. His individual sections of The Bridge are like odes, or (in this case) Charles Sheeler machine-landscapes. An ode has a big frame : kind of unfair to nip & tuck at individual lines or stanzas, without taking a look at the whole thing. Thus "Hatteras" should be looked at as part of a wheel (or ring of suspension guy-wires, or rainbow) - one of the tones in a huge tone-poem. Look at "Hatteras" through the other panes : ie., the opening invocation to Columbus, or the closing rhapsody, or the ode to 19th-century clipper ships. Each ode should first be taken in & measured in terms of its scope as a whole song among a series of songs, before (over)-reacting to in-grained mannerisms...

Another way to think about the quoted stanza, too, is as parody. "Power's script" shifts the substance of true poetic-visionary power - "The Bridge" as comprehending a new perception of civilization on earth - shifts it to the machinery of power itself, and thus its "script" is diluted or corrupted. So the stanza includes gimcrack takes on Rimbaud's lines from "Illuminations".

Eliot did something similar, it's said, with the 3rd of the 4 Quartets. The whole thing is a self-parody.

I guess this is all special pleading, but anyway.

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