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John Wayne’s Republicanism. On his Birthday.

May 26, 2017

A year on…


It’s John Wayne’s birthday today.  I was reminded of the Duke because I few days ago, I referenced him in an academic presentation for the first and last time in my academic career.  Actually, I more than referenced him.  I let him speak.

I was trying to develop a case about what might be specifically “republican” about particular kinds of poetry – not just in terms of content but in terms of form.  I decided (and people were I suspect too bored to contradict me) that there are no intrinsically republican verse forms – but rather formal choices might be republican in respect of prevalent contemporary expectations of different forms.  Blank verse might be more or less reactionary than couplet verse depending on the specific cultural context involved.

John Wayne pitched in because of this speech from The Alamo (1960):

Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means…

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