Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mere Oblivion

Here is an interesting article by Ian Hamilton in the March 16, 2000 Guardian, Against Oblivion. He is writing about poets' reputations rather than about authors of children's books but the dynamics are not dissimilar.

These ups and downs are to be expected and literary history is full of them. I mean, whatever happened to the 19th-century Spasmodics? And maybe we should not shed too many tears for fashion's victims. After all, getting to be fashionable is not usually an accident. Maybe we need these intermittent purges. On the other hand, there are poets who, by keeping to one side of the ins and outs of literary fashion, do find themselves rather more to one side than they would wish. By holding back, they run the risk of getting lost.

Rather more to one side than they would wish - how nicely put.

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