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Don’t Stop Reading / At Swim-Two-Birds

Here is poet August Kleinzahler on teaching:

I read to them and have them read and I have them do some exercises and I discourage them from bringing in poems of their own. This usually results in a mutiny by week three or four and they usually send a committee of students to my office hours and they say ‘What are you doing? Don’t you know why we’re here?’ And then I surrender pathetically and sit back and let them fillet each other for the remainder of the semester.

Is this the need to be the ‘author?’ Why the eagerness to ‘fillet?’ Why does it seem people who want to be writers are reading less? What about a tonic of closing our computers and notebooks and not writing for a while?

Going off this I want to read Flann O’Brien’s At Swim-Two-Birds, which James Joyce himself blurbed, with anyone who is willing. I haven’t read it and would invite anyone more familiar to help lead posts and discussions. Let’s begin next week and take a leisurely pace.

6 thoughts on “Don’t Stop Reading / At Swim-Two-Birds

    1. The Dalkey edition has a introduction by Gass which can also be found in Gass’ Temple of Texts.

      What say the leaders? 100 pages a week? Three weeks. What are good stopping points.

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