A literary biography of Vallejo

This book is coming out. I have been saying such a book was needed. Is it really the first biography of Vallejo? I would not have said so but it may be the first of its kind. The flyer I got from the publisher today alleged the book could be had for $7.95, so look out for flyers.

There are other Vallejo materials I need and do not have, although I have more than most people. I must finish the present book so I can get back to the Vallejo issue.

I have a new hypothesis about academic advice — namely, the advice that you not do your best work but just “get something out.” I think this is based on the idea that your best work will not be good, anyway.

From there it follows that you should not be doing research during regular working hours, but only evenings/weekends/on breaks, because your more useful work — “the work you are actually paid for” as I have been told several times — should take the prime time slots.

This is the main reason I am so suspicious of the advice to “just write.”

I am not saying not to write. I myself am writing at this moment, in another screen. It is a conference abstract. While I write the abstract, I am also writing the article in a parallel space.

I have hardly ever written a conference abstract this way before. Often I just toss off ambitious ones, sewing all my ideas in like jewels in Margarita’s shirt, but they then have far too much in them and become beautiful impediments.

Right now I need many modest but fully thought through abstracts like stones on a path. This abstract must contain less than do my usual ones, but develop more.




Filed under Bibliography, News, Theories, What Is A Scholar?

3 responses to “A literary biography of Vallejo

  1. Z

    It is a misprint — the book costs $71.25.

  2. Jonathan Mayhew

    Hart is a respectable scholar. I should read this book.

    • Z

      It will be information packed because he has really been looking around. It will be interesting to see what he says about what the earlier biographers, Vallejo’s more or less contemporaries, said. He is very entertaining on the arson incident, is convinced Vallejo is guilty, and he emphasizes that Vallejo se daba la buena vida cuando podía which goes against the image of him as a pobrecito suffering in the winds of fate and circumstance. He thinks Vallejo hiding out to avoid arrest is a sign of guilt whereas the more mainstream Lat Am p.o.v. would be that it is a sign he knows he will be convicted and that it is on its face guilt and innocence neutral. If he talks a lot about the content of what Vallejo read, belles-lettres but also other things, it will be *really* useful. We will never get it here so I am thinking of coughing up the $71.25 right now, before the price goes up to $99.

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