Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Like arguing with a gaggle of prepubescent poindexters who spend their time laughing at 17 year olds for causing trouble and chasing...you know...girls:
[I'll fix it later. I wanna watch Scalito] Eliot an adult? You’re kidding me, He had the sensibility of a bookish schoolboy and the closeted sexuality to match. And who could ever call Pound ‘mature?’ A writer of mature poetry maybe, but of what sort? As with Picasso: the formal inventiveness of adolescence. I suppose you could try to back William Rubin in his attempts to claim Picasso as a portrait painter of great emotional depth, but Rubin was pretty much tossed on his ass for that one. He was laughed at.

AR: “Seth thinks (unless I’m misunderstanding him) the whole of pre-Enlightenment art is nothing but praise for tyrants.”

Republican forms of government are still anomalous in history, therefore most of the art in museums is the product of authoritarian cultures. This is not my opinion, this is simply a fact. Literature and theater are seem more the products of a democratic or of semi-democratic culture, perhaps this is where Virgil comes in.

I usually get into fights about this for the opposite reasons. Dore Ashton reacted in horror many years ago when I brought up the possibility of a popular art. These days when I’m talking to such people I ask them to name the most important artist in any medium in the history of the English Speaking world. Hint: he was a popular entertainer.

There’s something about synchronic forms of thought that I associate with emotional immaturity, not painting as opposed to music but painting without metaphor, without a sense of time. The 20th century is full of people who defend ideas that originated in the 19th century as if they were products of the 20th. Ideas became ideologies. Ideologies are synchronic. I don’t care if it’s the pseudo-science of mainstream economics and ‘analytic’ philosophy; the myths of ‘scientific’ marxism or freudianism; or the positivist dreams of scientists and their unending search for “truth” by which they mean an unending search for ‘facts.’ Truth is after all a term of metahysics, and facts aren’t as sexy. It’s easy to see Modern art and Modernism as an escape from the world into synchrony. Some of the art was very beautiful, but the attempt to return to the unsynchronic world with synchronic logic failed.

John Holbo responded to Zizek as if their definition of communism were identical, as if Stalinism were merely an idea rather than also and more importantly an experience. Without caring one way or the other about Zizek I thought his critique was just silly. But for you I suppose it keeps the game going, so have fun.

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