On The Genius of Les Murray

π.ο. at The Sydney Review of Books:

Which brings me to the question of just why Les’s poetry — the poetry of the ‘bush’, and not the poetry of the ‘street’ or city say. It must be remembered (as Guy Debord told us in The Society of the Spectacle) that the aesthetic credo under Capitalism is ‘That which appears is good, that which is good appears’ — cos aesthetics is also a socially-constructed activity, and our heads have been steered, not only towards the bush, but away from the sea or city, or anything else starting with C. John Kinsella sez in his posthumous tribute that Les ‘strangely’ had ‘more in common with many experimentalists than with the more conservative traditionalists who lionise him’ — which i suggest you take with a grain of salt — as one wonders what Kinsella means by the word ‘experimentalists’ here — no family that i belong to that’s for sure.

But why is this word ‘Genius’ being bandied around so much in poetry here, in Australia in particular – the noun in particular — not so much the adjective which very loosely is a synonym for ‘ingenious’ meaning ‘well thought out’.

more here.