Thursday, December 25, 2008

"school of quietude" genealogy

Tom Devaney is publishing a short essay on Poe for an exhibit catalogue accompanying a Poe show at the Philadelphia Free Library (the show is up through February '09, titled "Quoth the raven"). Tom has long had a keen interest in Poe, and so I read the proofs of this essay with pleasure. And came upon this footnote:

The phrase the “school of quietude,” which is attributed to Poe, has been used and amplified by Ron Silliman on his blog “Silliman’s Blog.” There is no direct citation where Poe uses the exact phrase, yet the general point is correct. The phrase first appears in Claude Richard’s article “Arrant Bubbles: Poe’s ‘The Angel of the Odd’,” Poe Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 3, October 1969, pp. 46-48. According to Richard: “Poe took an active part in the squabble between the ‘Young Americans,’ who were the proponents of a muscular and popular literature, and the Boston poets, who were attached to a more genteel, more traditional, more quiet conception of literature.”