Opening Day Celebration Post: Charles North’s “Lineups”

Some seven years ago now, in the pitchers-and-catchers spirit of late February, my friend Scott Eric Kaufman posted to his blog a concept I’d never thought of before: a baseball lineup made up of writers, specifically modernist writers like Joyce and Woolf. Modernist literature was my scholarly specialty at the time, and I was fascinated by the way the form made intuitive sense applied to such an incongruous subject, to the point that I knew when I agreed and when I disagreed with Scott’s lineup (I’d trade Beckett to the Postmodernists and fill his spot with the speedy, slap-hitting William Carlos Williams).

Following the links on Scott’s post brought me to this, which presented another lineup (of philosophers—Kant batting cleanup, Plato pitching) by the man who’d come up with the whole form: a poet, Charles North, who wrote a whole book of them. Like a lot of poetry books, this one is ludicrously overpriced (about a dollar for every four pages), yet I’ve never regretted my purchase. Continue reading