Sunday Book-Thought 60

AutoPoet embodied an inappropriate idea of poetry. As long as the goal was the imitation of a human poet – or as long as the poem’s reader was encouraged to think that was the goal – I wasn’t likely to get any farther. What’s wrong with the AutoPoetry I’ve quoted here (and all the other reams of it the machine would produce until it was turned off) is exactly that it’s imitation poetry. All our habits of reading are called upon, all the old expectations, and then let down. “Monologues of Soul and Body” had worked because its “body” sections were so different from human poetry. It had successfully demanded its own way of reading.
Charles O. Hartman, Virtual Muse: Experiments in Computer Poetry (Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1996), p. 72.


Sunday Book-Thought 58

To hear an intelligent and sympathetic actor infusing one’s own lines with his creative individuality is one of the most profound satisfactions that any imaginative writer can enjoy; more – there is an intimately moving delight in watching the actor’s mind at work to deal rightly with a difficult interpretation, for there is in all this a joy of communication and an exchange of power. Within the limits of this human experience, the playwright has achieved that complex end of man’s desire – the creation of a living thing with a mind and will of its own.
Dorothy SayersMind of the Maker (London: Mowbray, 1994 [first published London: Methuen, 1941), p. 52.