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Thursday, December 9, 2010

INCREMENTALLY -- the best, most exciting, if not the fastest, way to learn

As I keep working on my to-be post for Hulme and the five poems of his "Collected Poetical Works," I keep finding more and more material on the man.  I don't know if my previous inquiries were just that pathetic or if there's really that much more available now.  I'm guessing the prior (I'm really too often too impatient to make my research adequately deep), because everything I'm finding was published ages ago.

If you've been paying close attention (you two or three who're paying any attention at all), you may notice that little revisions periodically crop up in old posts, and even their titles.  Well, that's what happens when I learn that either I made a mistake (more common) or one of my earlier sources has revealed itself to be unreliable (more common than you may think).

T.E. Hulme: Selected Writings (Fyfield Books)
Most of these discoveries are exciting.  For example, a former student, Sarah C., pointed me in the direction of a generous book preview at Amazon that permitted access to still four more poems/"fragments" (published posthumously), none of which I'd ever heard of.  Two of them are great.  The other two, well....  Let's just say that more often than not (though not always, mind you), the artist knows best, and probably those poems weren't published because they weren't ready (ever watch the "deleted scenes" on the special features of your favorite DVD and said to yourself, "Well, duh!  Good thing they left THAT out!).  I'd be sick if I knew a bunch of my old stuff got published.  Not because I don't want to be published, but because they're crap!

Not that these poems are crap. They're actually still pretty freaking remarkable, just not of the same caliber as the stuff he was proud enough of to put out there on his own in the first place.

Another pretty cool thing:  When Jacob and I went to the BYU library, each of the poems listed were annotated.  For one of them there was a reprint of the very postcard on which he had actually written the first draft of the poem, right along with its original crossings out and word changes and shifts....  Super cool.

I've got a couple days' work left to do on the big entry (and big it will certainly be), and I expect I'll find out a bunch more along the way.  


  1. I like that Jacob is your research assistant. He is going to be like a literary genius when he grows up.

  2. That would be pretty cool. He loves books and stories, and his language abilities are through the roof--you should hear some of the words and sentences he's able to negotiate. For now, though, he really just wants to be a superhero.

  3. Great author/superhero, what's the difference?

    Ok, so maybe that's an exaggeration.....

  4. So does that make the greatest writer a superhero? Fighting crime with the word? Reminds me of the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when Indy's dad shoots a Nazi in eye with fountain pen ink and Brody gets all excited about the might of the pen....

  5. Hahaha.

    But yes, theoretically. I'm trying to think of any superhero-esque writers. You have any ideas?



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