Friday, 23 December 2011

What Do You Do When a Poet Can't Stop Revising?

David Wheatley is exasperated by Derek Mahon's inability to leave well enough alone:
Critics of his revisions, Yeats wrote, needed to grasp “what issue is at stake: / It is myself that I remake”, but self-reinvention is one thing and tinkering for tinkering’s sake another, the low-level molestation of poems to no discernible end or advantage. The guard who awoke to find Bonnard retouching a painting of his on the gallery wall chased the artist out of the building, we might remember.

No comments: