And Yet More on “Patterson”


 I suppose the most common sort of characterization of “the artist” is the Irving Stone-type (van Gogh, Michelangelo), the grimacing, hyperventilating, tormented nut-job and outcast, railing at the heavens, suffering greatly at his enterprise. Another popular characterization is the drunk with an aggravated impulse-control disorder. This is a type that I’m very familiar with and actually exists in fair numbers; the other almost never at all. In fact, the standard-issue “poet-artist” in North America for the past couple of generations teaches in a master of fine arts program at a university and possesses the temperament of sales person or mid-level bureaucrat, but with an exalted opinion of himself.

(No women poets?)

August Kleinzahler, on Paterson.


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