Okay, so since we are poetry magazine, I wasn’t going to say a damn thing. I thought Bookninja said it better.
But talk about the tempest in the teapot reaching hurricane status. LA is a ways from Canada, yet the dust up over Jane Urquhart’s Penguin anthology has apparently reached our (way) southern neighbours ears, entering the LA Times blogosphere in this post, which has caused many Canadian bloggers to hit the keyboards.
Daniel Wells, editor of Canadian Notes and Queries, explains in this piece his experience of Urquhart’s work. In the interests of full disclosure, Urquhart has never been to my taste, and my initial review of this book consisted of me exclaiming “No Norman Levine?” at an inappropriate volume.
Wells explains that “Urquhart’s is a novelist’s sensibility, right down to the narrative nature of the stories’ organization. It also explains her sense of these stories as belonging to “the pre-novel fictional worlds” of many of her inclusions, when these writers were “at the beginning of their careers singing in a pure voice simply because they feel the need for music, the need for a song.” When I am feeling less generous this sounds a lot like Urquhart painting the story as a lesser form, the novel’s backward and rather weak-minded country cousin, the domain of younger writers before they move on to the more serious work of novel-writing, and if this is so, one must ask if she was a fitting choice as editor
I will be going to the newsstands to get a hold of these magazines this weekend.