criticism, poetry, workstyle


I actually have a post to share, for once, about “workstyle,” the subject this blog is supposed to be about.

There is something different about being in the library this time, as opposed to when I used to be there at Stanford. I used to feel that every second I spent in the library was a second deprived from the more important work of making my theories live and breathe on the stage. My time was a zero-sum game and theater was the dying person, or the baby, to whom you cannot possibly give enough attention. Really, none of these metaphors are appropriate. I felt, always have, that I had a purpose with regards to the chorus which was not mine to disregard. A vocation. A command.

Except, now, I have, of course, given it so much – and I am free to read poetry criticism for a few hours without being struck by lightning. I think I was afraid, on this return to grad school, that I wouldn’t be able to focus, just like I couldn’t in undergrad – and that, three hours after walking onto the Hopkins campus for the first time, I’d be starting rehearsals for something.

Well, not yet, at least. I read for a long time, and I experienced that feeling which I have heard scholars talk about, but never, actually, known – the sense that theorizing might be more important than praxis. I found myself skipping past the poems to read the criticism. (Eep.) There was fun stuff – like actor headshots being metonymy for the person. The kind of observation that has no application to your life or work, but is so clever. (I don’t have the citation for that, I’ll get it.)

Creepy, huh?