Monday, April 27, 2009

The Quote of the Festival.

I've been catching up on the LA Times Festival of Books, which happened this past weekend, and which I didn't attend. Carolyn Kellogg's updates have been keeping me informed, and her summary of the Publishing 3.0 panel, largely heralding the demise of traditional publishing outlets (not new news), contained the nugget I've been waiting for:
Nash noted that poetry micropresses are flourishing in this new, hectic publishing environment. With what may be the quote of the festival, he added, "Poetry, like porn, is a harbinger of culture."


  1. I have to say that I never quite expected to see poetry and porn in the same sentence about culture. Although I guess a dirty limerick might do that as well.

  2. Ha. I guess I was thinking about what *formal* elements they have in common--is it that they're both marginal cultural activities (I imagine viewing porn is quite a bit more popular than reading poetry)? is it that they share a certain sort of *sequential* reading experience? is it that the audience for both can come back again and again to experience the text (as opposed to, say, a novel, which is most often a singular reading experience)? Or is it that they're supposed to be on the *opposite* ends of the cultural spectrum and, thus, harbinge our extremes?

    Not sure harbinge is even a verb. Not sure it matters.

  3. I want to hear his answer to the question: "In what way?"

    It sounds like it was an interesting panel.

  4. I hate the idea of the written word being reduced to the experience of a backlit electronic devise.

  5. I'm with Petrea - this is one of those quotes that seems pithy until you try and and pick it apart. At that point I'm not sure that the comparison holds up. I'd have been intrigued to have heard him explain the "why".

    But it does sound like it was a good listen.

  6. I know why I like the comparison now. Because it cuts the sweet taste of poetry-as-effete-art with the sour taste of porn.