Talk:John Ashbery

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Criticism section[edit]

I don't think the quotation from Clive James that is busily reverting back and forth:

"John Ashbery would have given us dozens more poems as thrilling as his jeu d’esprit about Daffy Duck if he had never been raised to the combined status of totem pole and wind tunnel, in which configuration he produces one interminable outpouring that deals with everything in general, with nothing in particular, can be cut off at any length from six inches to a mile, and will be printed by editors who feel that the presence in their publication of an isotropic rigmarole signed with Ashbery’s name is a guarantee of seriousness precisely because they don’t enjoy a line of it".[1]

constitutes a proper "Criticism" section on its own, so I agree that it shouldn't be on the page as is. There's nothing wrong with having multiple views expressed, but just dumping a quote in there without context is not the way to go about it. I think the proper approach would be to summarize critical opinion, keeping in mind that the word "Criticism" has multiple meanings in a literary context and doesn't just imply the negative. Sighrik 17:58, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I think robust criticism is very valuable. It frees up everyone to have their own opinions. There is enough treacly nonsense in the article already. The enemy of art is the kind of numbskull piety that banalizes so many wikipedia articles - especially about American artists. People - you Sighrik - are free to add other, more positive, quotes. I prefer to take opinions 'neat' rather than have them 'summarized' into someone's idea of objectivity. 88888 22:05, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
So write a survey of the criticism. Don't just dump some Clive James opinion mongering into an encyclopedia article. It's like dumping an undigested turd from Michicko Kakutani into an article on Philip Roth. If you do write such a survey include Bloom, Vendler, Connaroe, and so on. Fine if you want to include Gioia, who doesn't like Ashbery. But James is pretty much only a polemicist. For others who want their opinions "neat" even if the quality is raw, you can put in a link to James under external links. Nightspore 13:42, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Nightspore
No. You put other views. It is not about balance or covering the field. Readers should not be treated as HS students. CJ talks about the work, doesn't simply offer a judgment. The article is worse without it.(One sick-making thing about wikipedia is the 1001 dishonest (self-deceiving) ways people have of protecting their precious views while claiming to be reasonable.) 88888 14:12, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, no. I have no particular interest in writing anything about Ashbery. I do have an interest in not seeing some moronic quotation that -- what did you say? um "talks about the work, doesn't simply offer a judgment" -- he does that where? In the briefest positive mention of a trivial poem? What other work does he talk about? Wikipedia is supposed to be more or less neutral. There's an artful way of noting dissension from prevailing views. You know: "While Harold Bloom has called Ashbery the greatest living poet, many people dismiss such judgments. Clive James, for example, writes..." But ok, wikipedia makes you sick. So why not go play somewhere else? Nightspore 20:11, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Nightspore
The criticism from Clive James is not a critique of Ashbery so much as it is about the poetry establishment or poetry industry. James is saying that it converts promising poets like Ashbery into product factories, and that the product is deemed by the establishment to be amenable to further reshaping by the industry to suit its purposes. That's what James says, but what he is getting at, is praise for Ashbery, rather than the negative that was suggested above by Sighrik: that Ashbery could have produced more great stuff if he had not been so converted by the industry. I would say that this is an important piece of criticism on Ashbery, to the extent that those who consider themselves to be working outside the industry (oddly, this includes many university professors) have come to view Ashbery as something less than the real thing, or that he became part of the established industry because he was not a true innovator. James's suggestion is that the conventional university attitude toward Ashbery is not fair or accurate. Even though it is a bit roundabout, I would put the James critique back in the article. RUReady2Testify 21:13, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

BTW, shouldn't the first sentence say that Ashbery is a modern poet or something to that effect? The omission of this and the use of a picture of him in jacket and tie behind a podium gives the strong impression that the reader is to think that Ashbery is definitely Old Gard when that is not at all the case. And what about "he was graduated from Harvard" as if it happened with merely his passive participation? We don't speak that way and neither did Ashbery. How far back would you have to go to find a serious usage like that?

RUReady2Testify 21:23, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

At present the article states twice that Ashbery is controversial, but gives no sense as to why or in what manner. This leaves the article intellectually stunted. Perhaps the Clive James quotation isn't ideal, but the article would be strengthened if some diverse judgments on Ashbery were included. Chasbo2 (talk) 13:46, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

weasel words/ POV[edit]

Is there any way to judge a poet's importance or whether or not he has won "nearly every" award? The first line needs to be cleaned up. You can discribe his as an award-winning poet, or you can name a few of the major ones, either works. I think you need to qualify his importance rather than state it as a fact.zMrathel (talk) 07:10, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Asked to retire?[edit]

Is there more info on this? "Asked to retire" might be illegal. Not renewing a contract would be legal, assuming he wasn't tenured. But asking anyone to retire is possibly actionable, so I think this might require clarification. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nightspore (talkcontribs) 04:38, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

TLS Dustup re Yale Younger Poets Controversy[edit]

I have some concerns with respect to BLP re Spanglej's recent edit, which I've raised here Spanglej talk AtomikWeasel (talk) 03:34, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

On second thought I've reverted the later edits by Spanglej – I'm happy to discuss, but I think it extremely important with respect to BLP to simply note the fact of the controversy. That fact of the controversy is clear, and well-sourced, and given, for example, the NYT characterizing it as noteworthy it seems to me appropriate and, unless we're creating a hagiography rather than an encyclopedia entry, it ought be part of Ashbery's entry. To enter into the dispute itself, however, I think raises very serious BLP issues and is not in my judgement appropriate for WP. AtomikWeasel (talk) 03:44, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

No, I think you're right. I've reverted my copy edits and kept in the ref detail. Best wishes Spanglej (talk) 03:48, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
To you as well. AtomikWeasel (talk) 04:03, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

NPOV Check[edit]

There are too many phrases in the article such as the following:

"His own poetry was accused of a staleness in this period, but books like A Wave (1985) and the later And the Stars Were Shining (1994), particularly in their long poems, show the unmistakable originality of a great poet in practice."

The article should be edited to remove such unsourced evaluations to comport with NPOV guidelines.Pernoctus (talk) 18:22, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

I cannot understand why no-one has followed through on the above before. It was high time that sentence was deleted as unsourced opinionation. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 20:36, 7 May 2013 (UTC)