Monday, June 19, 2017

A commentary on myself

Robert Minto belongs to a rare and special group of people: he bought my book. Even rarer, he wrote a response, classifying it alongside Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry under a new genre, apophatic criticism: “a way of writing about literature that treats it as a commentary on itself, a seeking for its own limits”. Whatever the validity of the label, this is one the best things ever to happen in all my years of blogging, as I realise there are some critics who will never receive anything more than a cheque in the post. If there is one thing that has kept me writing for so long, it has been to find words for an experience of literature that appears to differ so markedly from those at the cash machine, so to have that recognised and appreciated in this way is not only gratifying but a great help.

You can read the whole thing here.
(Currently no longer on the site)


  1. Good to be read, better to be read thoughtfully. Your first sentence reminds me of an encounter with Slobodan Rosic, whom I met in Bajina Bašta on the Drina River: Scott Abbott, you're Scott Abbott?...I read your book. So you're the one, I answered. No, he quickly added, no, there are two of us...the town librarian read it too.

  2. Thanks Scott. I love that anecdote.

  3. You are read, I bought your book. I've read this space/of resonance from their have that moment when you realize you are not mad or at the very least, appropriately foolish. I'll retreat again, I'm nobody, but I'm grateful for your writing, especially when I can't see and it catches me mid fall. Be well.
    -Jesse Rupp

  4. Thanks Jesse, that's very kind of you to say.



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