Mar/Apr 2015 • Vol. XXXVII No. 2 NonfictionMarch 1, 2015 |

Carpe Vitam: How to Do Things with Spontaneity

By the brokenness of his composition the poet makes himself master of a certain weapon which he could possess himself of in no other way.   William Carlos Williams, "Prologue" to Kora In Hell: Improvisations Spontaneity remains outside explanation.   James Hillman, Pan and the Nightmare To sell an idea you can choose one of two gambits. You can say: "I have thought long and hard about this, I have brought my best to bear on this problem" (hard work, skill, research, rational thinking, whatever the analytic tools du jour). Or you can begin: "This came to me this morning in the shower." The latter gesture is performative, at once self-protective and self-assertive: don't blame me if this idea doesn't pan out; but perhaps it deserves special attention because it came to me in an intuitive moment. Both gestures—thoughtful and thoughtless—authorize and validate: value my idea because I've worked hard creating it; or, value my idea precisely because I haven't worked a

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Since 1980 Randy Fertel has taught the literature of the Vietnam War at Harvard, Tulane, and the New School for Social Research. Kenyon Review published his “Carpe Vitam: How to Do Things with Spontaneity” in the March/April based on his new book A Taste for Chaos: The Art of Literary Improvisation (Spring Journal Books, March 2015).

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By the brokenness of his composition the poet makes himself master of a certain weapon which he could possess himself of in no other way.   William Carlos Williams, "Prologue" to […]

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