I have coined the termed “genealogical elegies” for poems occasioned by the death of poets rather than calling such poems “professional elegies” in the manner of some recent critics.1 In doing so, it is not my intention to invoke moral philosophy or the ghosts of Nietzsche and Foucault (although I do agree with the latter when he writes that “Genealogy … operates on a field of entangled and confused parchments, on documents that have been scratched over and recopied many times”).2 In family genealogies, descendants have little say in their progenitors’ identity and can only dutifully trace their lineage in retrospect (which is why Michel Foucault also asserts that genealogy “is gray, meticulous, and patiently documentary”...

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