Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Voice Is All

it occurred to me
that poetry is a gate;
and you might say
that’s a given,
considering we live in
a world, fenced and
narrow, harrowing
in its complexity,
seeking simplicity,
some gentle touch.

m but what if instead
it led, not out of
the world to some
secret garden, but into
the pit of vipers, where
snipers and grifters
drift between violence
and silence, and
, dare not to dream
That simple dream

“Every journalist who is not too stupid or full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people’s vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.”
There is truly a courageous spirit inhabiting Janet Malcolm

In the first half, [...Podhoretz's] thesis is that the dirty little secret among the left, among artists and intellectuals, is that they really want to make it, and they want to make it big. And they conceal that from themselves and from others. But this is really the motivating factor that is never talked about. You can talk about sex but you can’t talk about ambition and desire for success.
~ Mailer also talks about the hypocrisy of the culture industry, via Podhoretz’s “Making It”

Why do we get pleasure from the imagination? Isn't it odd that toddlers enjoy pretense, and that children and adults are moved by stories, that we have feelings about characters and events that we know do not exist? As the title of a classic philosophy article put it, how can we be moved by the fate of Anna Karenina? The Pleasures of Imagination

Writers like to be seen as “artists” who suffer for our work–this gives us a great excuse to act out our neuroses, to selfishly lock ourselves away from the rest of the world as we “gestate” and create. And yes, it’s the perfect excuse for acting childish. Maybe the metaphor is reversed. Maybe our novels are creating and raising us? Maybe it’s our stories that school us and provide structure for our worlds, bringing control to the chaos, and guiding us through life? That I could believe. Because without stories, the ones in my head as well as the ones written by others, I would have no way to make sense of this crazy world…..much less all the crazy stuff that came through the doors of my ER. Think about it. With books, we have generations of knowledge, guidance, moral lessons to help us create our society. Where would we be without the wisdom of Homer, Dickens, Shakespeare, Buck, Twain, Dumas, Bradbury, and so many others? What kind of world would we be living in if we didn’t have their stories?
What kind of world will our children live in, if we don’t give them the gift of reading and instill in them a love of stories? Scary thought, isn’t it?