Neatness Counts: Essays on the Writer's Desk

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U of Minnesota Press - 164페이지
In "Neatness Counts, Kevin Kopelson reflects on the poetics of the desk--rolltop or "bureau-plat, cluttered or bare, the nestlike desk, the schematic desk, the dramatic desk, the dramatic lack of any such furniture. Exploring the topography of literary creation by way of the topography of work space, Kopelson, one of today's most important critics, offers a series of meditations on how orderliness, chaos, and other physical states correspond with both the exhilaration of production and the desperation of writer's block. Focusing on the poet Elizabeth Bishop, the novelist Marcel Proust, the critic Roland Barthes, the playwright Tom Stoppard, and the travel writer Bruce Chatwin, "Neatness Counts is at once critical and creative, examining how various writers' work habits relate to their published work. Kopelson also considers desks of his own--one that had belonged to an older brother, one he borrowed from a messy friend, one now shared with a partner. And by pursuing these two lines of inquiry to their unlikely but enlightening conclusions, Kopelson both fabricates a virtual library of literary insight and commemorates an era in which the term "desktop" didn't denote one's computer screen.

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Desk Work
1
Bedtime Story
19
Same Place Twice
51
Lightning Strikes
75
Movable Type
113
From the Notebooks
139
Works Cited
143
Permissions
155
Index
157
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70 페이지 - The reader is the space on which all the quotations that make up a writing are inscribed without any of them being lost; a text's unity lies not in its origin but in its destination.
106 페이지 - SHE walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies ; And all that's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes : Thus mellow'd to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
64 페이지 - We know now that a text is not a line of words releasing a single "theological" meaning (the "message" of the Author-God) but a multidimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash. The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centers of culture.
42 페이지 - It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy: to be present at this great spectacle of life and never to be liberated from a small hungry shivering self - never to be fully possessed by the glory we behold, never to have our consciousness rapturously transformed into the vividness of a thought, the ardor of a passion, the energy of an action, but always to be scholarly and uninspired, ambitious and timid, scrupulous and dim-sighted.
42 페이지 - For my part I am very sorry for him. It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy: to be present at this great spectacle of life and never to be liberated from a small hungry shivering self...
63 페이지 - literary' ideas on femininity? Is it universal wisdom? Romantic psychology? We shall never know, for the good reason that writing is the destruction of every voice, of every point of origin. Writing is that neutral, composite, oblique space where our subject slips away, the negative where all identity is lost, starting with the very identity of the body writing.
66 페이지 - And thence the commonly used term "subject" will be broken down and will be understood as the term inaccurately used to describe what is actually the series or the conglomeration of positions, subject-positions, provisional and not necessarily indefeasible, into which a person is called momentarily by the discourses and the world that he/she inhabits. The term "agent...
123 페이지 - A man listening to a story is in the company of the story-teller; even a man reading one shares this companionship. The reader of a novel, however, is isolated, more so than any other reader.
61 페이지 - ln an author's lexicon, will there not always be a word-as-mana, a word whose ardent, complex, ineffable, and somehow sacred signification gives the illusion that by this word one might answer for everything?
4 페이지 - ... lives of being courted and despised; deep from raw throats a senseless order floats all over town; A rooster gloats over our beds from rusty iron sheds and fences made from old bedsteads, over our churches where the tin rooster perches, over our little wooden northern houses, making sallies from all the muddy alleys, marking out maps like Rand McNally's: glass headed pins, oil-golds and copper greens, anthracite blues, alizarins, each one an active displacement in perspective; each screaming,...

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