Monday, March 31, 2008

Clutter and hubs

I'm really enjoying Campbell McGrath's new book, Seven Notebooks. I've only finished the first section, but can already see that the book is organized similarly to "The Bob Hope Poem" from Spring Comes to Chicago. That is, a series of observations and/or vignettes constellate about various figurative "hubs" in the work. These hubs draw the reader's attention forward and back through the work: Pablo Neruda, purple dahlias, berries of various sorts, the plantar fascia, snails, etc. Understanding Pablo Neruda (whom I haven't read) is the vector and the intellectual focus of the first "notebook"--an exploration of what holds up the superstructure of American culture (like the plantar fascia holds up the foot and the rest of the body) is also part of it. Neruda's praise of fascists like the Soviets, and the poet's attempt to keep the snails off flowers become connected.

I wish I had more time to reflect on this--I've been reading on the metro, but not yet taking notes on it. And I've not gotten that far with it, so all has not yet gelled. Clutter--he seems particularly attentive to clutter. A man after my own heart: clutter is the stuff of my family life right now.

1 comment:

babusyed said...

for more on neruda