My wife has been reading Camille Paglia’s Break, Blow, Burn recently, and it’s been a lot of fun to talk with her about it. She doesn’t usually read poetry — though she has a few favorites by heart — so many of the works in Paglia’s book are new to her. Saturday night after dinner we went though some of the poets she’s liked so far (Donne, Marvell, Shelley), got out the Oxford Companion to read about the poets, got out the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations to find the famous lines everyone knows, and raided my bookshelves for various other relevant essays, poems, etc. And, in the process, finding all the poems bearing the marks of my patient scansion and which now, as if by magic, appear entirely new to me.
It should be great fun to see Paglia tomorrow night down in Hyde Park, when she matches wits with the locals over at the International House. (Note the location — earlier reports had her speaking at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore.)
Maybe I can talk Mrs. Jones into a little blog-based conversation about Paglia, a la Mark and MOTEV. She’s an interesting character, that Mrs. Jones. She has a bullshit detector that would make Hemingway’s look like a cheap toy. And no, it is not the product of her 20 years of marriage to Mr. Jones. If that’s where you were going.