Anthologies and Taste
My last post perhaps should have had a disclaimer: My tastes change. Whereas I may not like a story the first time I read it, coming back to it may change my opinion of it. This is true of The New Weird as it is The Year’s Best Science Fiction or any other anthology. An anthology is a crapshoot between who deserves in, new writers looking for a chance, and the taste of both producers and readers. I am not going to like every story in every anthology.
I think this feeling was crystallized for me Monday morning when I was going through some of my old books. Some I remember fondly. Some I wonder why I even bought the damn things.
David Trinidad’s poetry collection Answer Song brought this to a head. I first discovered Trinidad’s work in Timothy Liu’s anthology Gay American Poetry. I discovered several poets that caught my interest in that anthology. But I haven’t read any of them in years. So, having nothing to do, and procrastinating on The Scar, I reread Answer Song.
And I wonder to myself why I bought it. What about that collection impelled me to acquire it? Most of the poems are, to me now, pop culture drivel. In my postmodern, wannabe literary scholar phase, I wanted GLBT poetry. Or I just wanted a poem that at eighteen and nineteen sounded more risque than it does at twenty-seven.
So, in the end, tastes change over time.
As an addendum, I have the first post on The Scar ready to go. I should have it up tomorrow or Friday.