Hooker, Jeremy

Jeremy Hooker - Upstate — A North American Journal

£9.95

Jeremy Hooker - Upstate — A North American Journal

Paperback, 148pp, 9x6ins

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Upstate is the journal of poet and lecturer Jeremy Hooker's time spent in North America during the academic year 1994–5. Like his earlier Welsh Journal (Seren, 2001), which covered his first sojourn in Wales in the 1970s, the book muses on his time as an Englishman in a foreign land—albeit a land with which he feels deep ties, both personal and literary. As the author says in his introduction — "Keeping a journal is a means of seeing in the dark, and the dark always advances… I have no interest in confession, although I am aware that my very selectivity — and every journal entry is a selection from countless possible impressions — is a form of self-revelation… The one thing a diarist must never do is perform for an audience, even if the audience is only himself or herself. At best, I have found my journal a means of escaping from self-consciousness, since it is not about the ego in isolation, but about relationships between the seer and the seen, between self and other. If it is about finding oneself, it is about finding oneself in the world, neither of which is separable from the other. It will be evident from the foregoing that I understand keeping a journal as analogous to writing poetry. It is not the same, but there are analogies. Each is about making a shape in words — a literary journal rarely consists of raw notations; its aim is to find the right word or image, to form the corresponding 'shape' for an impression or thought. In my case, too, the journal has sometimes served me as a 'quarry' of poetic materials, as well as a way of thinking about poetry."

 

 

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