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TSE  May 2001

TSE May 2001

Subject:

Re: Reality and poetry

From:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 30 May 2001 07:46:12 EDT

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In a message dated 5/29/01 3:22:29 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
[log in to unmask] writes:


> This might not be a word I would thought of using before quoting
> Joseph Campbell but what is wrong with compassion?
> 
> 

People more interested in the artist's life than in the art don't exactly 
qualify as compassionate.  Most of them have no interest in art, or an 
inability to relate to it as art, from which they take off in either of two 
directions.

1) They like to know all the dirt about  the artist, as they take this to 
justify their disinterest in the art.

2) They feel an animosity towards, or jealousy of, artists, and therefore 
enjoy hearing anything scabrous that in their own minds will allow them to 
feel superior to the artist. 

I'm not, of course, referring to bonafide biographers, who can be identified 
becaused they take a neutral or balanced stance--they want to see the whole 
picture about the artist, including both the good and the bad. There's a big 
difference between this and bowel-genital "biography," which focuses 
exclusively on aspects of the artist's life that tend to hold him/her up to 
ridicule...and also tend to detract attention from the work. 

Beyond the anti-intellectualism, there's often a double standard involved 
withthe bowel and genital folks. Those who would find it intrusive to be 
asked to discuss their own sexual proclivities take pleasure in gloating over 
what they  believe to be Eliot's sexual proclivities. 

Certainly people are free to use poetry, and the arts generally, for whatever 
purposes they want, including actual or metaphorical toilet paper. So it's 
not a major catastrophe if a person needs to work out his or her personal 
hangups by projecting them on to some artist or another. It's just that I 
rather gag at hearing it called "compassionate," and the word that came to 
mind for me more quickly was "sick." 

pat

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<HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT  SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial Narrow" LANG="0"><B>In a message dated 5/29/01 3:22:29 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
<BR>[log in to unmask] writes:
<BR>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=2 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"></B>
<BR><BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE style="BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px">This might not be a word I would thought of using before quoting
<BR>Joseph Campbell but what is wrong with compassion?
<BR>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"></BLOCKQUOTE>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial Narrow" LANG="0"><B>
<BR>People more interested in the artist's life than in the art don't exactly 
<BR>qualify as compassionate. &nbsp;Most of them have no interest in art, or an 
<BR>inability to relate to it <U>as art</U>, from which they take off in either of two 
<BR>directions.
<BR>
<BR>1) They like to know all the dirt about &nbsp;the artist, as they take this to 
<BR>justify their disinterest in the art.
<BR>
<BR>2) They feel an animosity towards, or jealousy of, artists, and therefore 
<BR>enjoy hearing anything scabrous that in their own minds will allow them to 
<BR>feel superior to the artist. 
<BR>
<BR>I'm not, of course, referring to bonafide biographers, who can be identified 
<BR>becaused they take a neutral or balanced stance--they want to see the whole 
<BR>picture about the artist, including both the good and the bad. There's a big 
<BR>difference between this and bowel-genital "biography," which focuses 
<BR>exclusively on aspects of the artist's life that tend to hold him/her up to 
<BR>ridicule...and also tend to detract attention from the work. 
<BR>
<BR>Beyond the anti-intellectualism, there's often a double standard involved 
<BR>withthe bowel and genital folks. Those who would find it intrusive to be 
<BR>asked to discuss their own sexual proclivities take pleasure in gloating over 
<BR>what they &nbsp;believe to be Eliot's sexual proclivities. 
<BR>
<BR>Certainly people are free to use poetry, and the arts generally, for whatever 
<BR>purposes they want, including actual or metaphorical toilet paper. So it's 
<BR>not a major catastrophe if a person needs to work out his or her personal 
<BR>hangups by projecting them on to some artist or another. It's just that I 
<BR>rather gag at hearing it called "compassionate," and the word that came to 
<BR>mind for me more quickly was "sick." 
<BR>
<BR>pat</B></FONT></HTML>

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