On Stylists

For Certain Poets

When they do not have experience from which to work they become stylists. These are men who play with words, often big & fancy words, that regular people don’t understand. But there is a select group of fellow stylists who also understand these words and will write glowing reviews of any work that uses them.

These stylists, however, still need material. To get that material they go to a library, often a university library, since many of them are professors, where they do research. They do research into the lives of men who have had experiences and perhaps lived long ago. These histories of other men’s experiences are something the stylist can attach his big words to and ornament with his distinctive style.

Between studying his dictionary and reading at his local library the stylist can then write brilliantly of great and dangerous adventures without actually having to risk himself in any way. 


  1. Most of the time they scatter the trash about and make a mess of the work of these men. Other times, they are good bird and spread the seeds to other men. Think of good biographies of Che and 1491--works of sitters, but humble sitters who knw their place and worth. It is when the sitters mistake themselves for men of risk and exploration that we have the problems.

  2. i had in mind the novelists and poets who do research into the life of say, che guevara, in order to write a novel or a poem. the scholars, men who research in order to tell a history, these guys are not so bad. they do what they do. indeed, i have been very inspired by those 2 books you mention. however, i have no interest in writing novels or poems based upon those histories. a mans history can only inspire me to live differently. a stylist, in contrast, would never live differently.

  3. Indeed. People like Beiser and Spade also were humble enough to call themselves out as historians.

    There are no men like Olson. Singer didn't understand or like his work.

  4. But I could never be a Butterick. It's incredible how the biographer of Olson showed relative greatness as a biographer. Was there ever a biographer such as Butterick? Has anyone ever written a book/made a film about this man?

  5. One can be drawn in to great thinkers, but eventually, if a man has strength, he finds a flaw in each great thinker and feels a great disgust and then a rejection. It is his way of staying independent.

  6. What is great about this piece of shit Wikipedia post is that it self destructs when Olson is quoted (read the last sentence which follows all the fucking nonsense). In his death he is capable of making fun of these motherfuckers:

    Charles Olson (27 December 1910 – 10 January 1970), was a second generation American modernist poet who was a link between earlier figures such as Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams and the New American poets, which includes the New York School, the Black Mountain School, the Beat poets, and the San Francisco Renaissance. Consequently, many postmodern groups, such as the poets of the language school, include Olson as a primary and precedent figure. He described himself not so much as a poet or writer but as "an archeologist of morning."


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