Thank you so much for all the wise & clever comments to my post on Stephen Dobyns. I appreciated it a lot – very inspiring! I am not in the position to question anything of what you have told me, and do not yet know enough about Dobyns to make any interesting follow-up remarks.
At present state I just want to add this:
- Some of you were discussing when the actual essay was written, and I’m sorry to say that I don’t know, it doesn’t say.
- There was some discussion on his relation and kinship to other poets. In the introduction Dobyns presents four writers who – as he sees it – combines what it is to be an author; a mixture of the life and the work, the craft and the imagination, the responsibility and freedom. The 4 chosen ones are:
Rainer Maria Rilke (Bohemian (Austria-Hungary))
Osip Mandelstam (Rus.)
Anton Chekhov (Rus.)
Yiannis Ritsos (Greek)
In the introduction Dobyns doesn’t name any American idol.
ps: Even if I find this reading is very exciting I haven’t totally forgotten how to write …
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Keep in mind that Americans read Rilke in translation. It’s almost a cult. I have no idea if Dobyns reads German or not, but chances are he doesn’t. The translations, and here’s the interesting thing, have more in common with American transcendentalism than with Rilke.
I have no knowledge of Am. transcendentalism, my theoretical focus when studying was on structuralism, post-structuralism and deconstruction + Adorno and The Frankfurters.
ps: thank you also for mentioning Carver as a poet in your last comment – I only know him for his short stories.
Oh yes, read Carver’s poetry. I do think his stories are better than his poems, but it is a fascinating filling-in or comparison to read both.
I like you even more for this. Thanks a million.
ha – ha, how wonderful!