July 17, 2008

Poetry is like masturbation

Maybe it IS time to burn all my poetry! :)
INTERVIEWER: You’ve talked before about trying your hand at poetry in this period. In an essay on writing, you said, “my poetry had the same functional origin and the same formal configuration as teenage acne.”

ECO: I think that at a certain age, say fifteen or sixteen, poetry is like masturbation. But later in life good poets burn their early poetry, and bad poets publish it. Thankfully I gave up rather quickly.
The above excerpt is from an interview with Umberto Eco, published in the Paris Review this month

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