Thomas Merton put it well when he said that the command to "Love God" has no more force than "Eat Wheaties." Neither is there any moral trenchancy
left in such phrases as "the dignity of the individual," "the quality of life," "self-evident truths," much less "Nature and Nature's God." Such phrases have slipped whatever metaphysical moorings they may once have possessed.
reminds one of Robert Simpson's symphonies but the Mahler-influenced Adagio is reminiscent of another British orchestral player-turned-composer - Malcolm Arnold in his fifth symphony.
Yet, such criticism risks repeating the very reductionism it seeks to condemn, for its trenchancy
depends on reading magical realist texts as rather simple representations of their particular cultural milieus, which work either naively to celebrate these worldviews as magical or cynically to market them as such.
In an earlier day those might have seemed impressive credentials; in our day, such has been the diminishment of the prestige of both institutions, they suggest instead a want of trenchancy
and a cause for distrust.
I cannot do justice here to the complexity of this debate, or to the precision and trenchancy
of Traub's reasoning; I can only recommend chapter 3 to anyone who wants to understand the value of historical research to the study of sexuality in the early modern (or any other) period.
On the basis of both its trenchancy
and capaciousness, I heartily recommend Post- and Transhumanism to scholars, students, and interested general readers.
Michael Levenson has argued that "part of the trenchancy
of The Good Soldier is that it imagines ...
We put the matter this way in order to serve notice, with possibly surprising trenchancy
, that denial in the manner of concealment belongs to unconcealment as clearing" (178-180).
Its subjective trenchancy
must be restored: equality is something that opens onto a strict logic of the Same.
The keyword of O'Brien's illuminating new preface is continuity: "Mary O'Malley continues to produce poems that reflect the hard, grey, stark landscape of her native Connemara"; "In poems of political trenchancy
and currency, Rita Ann Higgins continues to pay homage to the resilience of working class Galwegians"; "Paula Meehan continues to mine her memories of an inner-city Dublin childhood"; "Moya Cannon continues to carve and polish poems, which seem to be more the result of natural processes than the exertions of a poet." All of these statements are true, and it is as wonderful as O'Brien suggests to be able to read in one place the deepening of each poet's territorial excavations and the widening of each poet's thematic range over the course of the decades.
This rule is absolutely relevant in the case of the analysis of a mega-event but loses trenchancy
if the existence of a sports franchise is the variable of interest.
(If you take a Williams poem and strip it of its modernist lineation by writing it out in prose--as Robert Lowell once had his students do--you discover a writer who sounds a lot like Abraham Lincoln.) They have some of the moral trenchancy
of Williams, also, and they have something more of the abstraction and aleatory ideation of Stevens.