Monday, December 04, 2006

belated but joyful posting

Dear all,
I find myself in an overwhelming week of dreadfully packed days and cannot imagine being able to write anything substantial until Friday at the earliest...and maybe even Sunday. I'll be covering the "four poles of the Christian imagination" chapter, and I will need more time (dinner was pizza at the Q74 bus stop). But I didn't want any more time to go by without saying what an enriching experience reading The Triumph of Augustan Poetics has been--just the kind of book that you want to press into the hands of anyone interested in poetry or culture. I wish I had read it years ago. For me this is a model of what a critical book should be. The book is, first of all, extremely generous, opening up all kinds of entrance points into the period--letting you explore all kinds of valleys and streams of your own, testing out the arguments against your own pursuits. But Parker also honors & enriches the reader by offering his opinions of texts and giving you a sense of the intellectual work behind this judgement. I like the way he shows his cards, over and over again--there's a unique combination here of deep thinking and a kind of open-ended joyfully opinionated discerning engagement.

More later. Hours to go before...