the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

gluck against abundance; on the common reaction to economy / restraint

Posted by rigorousm on November 20, 2014

The dream of abundance does not need another defense. The danger of that aesthetic is its tendency to produce, in lesser hands, work that is all detail and no shape. Meanwhile, economy, is not admired. Economy depends on systematic withholding of the gratuitous; dispute is bound to arise over definitions of “gratuitous,” but the very action of withholding is currently suspect. It is associated with rigidity, miserliness, insufficiencies; with faculties either atrophied or checked. It is a habit not admired in personal interaction, in which realm it is associated with ideas of maniulation, slyness, coldness; it is considered uniformly dangerous in governments, and so on.

– Louise Gluck, “Disruption, Hesitation, Silence,” Proofs and Theories: essays on poetry, p 82.


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