Sunday, January 22, 2012

"massive and misleading"

Googling around for some enlightenment on John Glassco's "Villanelle," I came across this sentence in a review of Seminal in Xtra!

There's a massive and misleading typo in one of the poems (John Glassco's haunting "Villanelle") …

Since some of us are professional editors and have spotted many more typos in our readings than I have, I won't even venture out on this one but offer it up to them in the spirit of good fun!

4 comments:

Tom said...

I wish he had said what that massive and misleading typo was.

Tim said...

"massive" is misleading except as hendiadys, but the misprint is massively misleading! Keith has checked in Glassco's original collection, The Deficit Made Flesh, and discovered that the second line should read "My sleeping sister and infernal twin,". "Internal" never made much sense and suggested all manner of misleading readings—souls in bodies, souls with bones, souls with bones in bodies (with bones), etc. Now something like the romance of Byron with his half-sister Augusta comes to mind … though maybe that is too limiting? Anyhow, kudos to Keith!!

DCSteve1441 said...

Kudos are definitely in order, but I'm not sure I would have warmed more to the poem sans typo. Don't get me wrong: I certainly don't object to "Villanelle." But it also didn't do much for me.

Cheers, Steve

Tim said...

I know you preferred "Fly in Autumn" and I too enjoyed its special bathos (in the best Pickwickian sense), but on rereading it I'm bothered by Glassco's inability to decide whether he's writing about a fly (as in the title, with wings and "hands") or a maggot (loathsome, pushing, fat, etc … and without). Too bad the poem should suffer for a poignant ("washing his wands wearily") phrase.