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Re: prose

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  • louise
    Bill, I think it might be worth submitting this piece to some literary criticism. However much I admire any given writer - and this particular poet and
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 6 5:24 AM
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      Bill, I think it might be worth submitting this piece to some
      literary criticism. However much I admire any given writer - and this
      particular poet and essayist is a giant - there is never a sense
      that 'he speaks for me'. On the contrary, it is by speaking for what
      in himself is only just born in the moment of writing, newly realised
      and splendent with both future and past, that I may discover something
      in myself newly-born. If there were any kind of identity in the
      subjective experience of two individuals, such as in the moments of
      the poet's composition and the moments of the reader's first
      encounter - and I think it ludicrous to suppose that, anyway - it
      could never be proved. This is true for prose, poetry, music, for
      everyday conversation itself. We laugh together at the same joke, but
      we imagine differently. This is why friendship retains the potential
      to turn hostile. That recurrent theme of politics and art.
      So, George Barker notes that 'history' invented America, which as
      national myth is rendered objective. There is an association for me
      with concepts such as fate or destiny, and the tendency of human
      elites to breed individuals who identify their own wills with such
      destiny. An individual existentialist, say, resident on the land-mass
      described politically as 'America', may forge his own myth of nation,
      recreate the existing myth in dynamic fashion, or cast anchor and
      live, like Diogenes the Cynic, kosmopolitees, citizen of the world.
      There are many who borrow such terminology who would recoil in horror
      from what the Tub-Dwelling one actually did and said on the streets of
      old Athens. Barker appears to be presenting an image of the ordinary
      people of USA, implicitly noting the contrast with the different
      national myths of Europe, with some of which he was intimately
      familiar.

      "From a considerable experience in listening to the troubles of
      mermaids I learn that such are the erotic propensities of French
      sailors that even when they are at sea they are in bed."

      Maximes, in the same volume of essays.


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "louise" <hecubatoher@y...> wrote:
      > When history invented America she forgot to provide it with a First
      > Person Singular. Instead she presented it with the First Person
      > Plural. So that Americans exist largely in terms of other people.
      > This looks like human love but in fact it is simply a passing of the
      > buck.
      >
      >
      > George Barker.
      > Asterisks. Essays, MacGibbon & Kee 1970.
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