I agree with much of what Frank says, but I also keep wondering when
people will stop using the astonishingly meaningless phrase "politically
correct." Every position that argues a thesis is in one sense political, and
all sides of all issues can be labeled "politically correct." Formalist
criticism was once politically correct. Praising the war on terror is now
politically correct, though the people most prone to it like to use the label
for everyone else. I happen to support some of what has been done, and
that is irrelevant to my point that "politically correct" means absolutely
nothing at all. It is just a convenient verbal bludgeon for anything anyone
wants to trivialize or scorn. If one disagrees with a position, one is really
called on to give some reason beyond calling names. Calling them "dumb"
does not prove anything either, let alone convince anyone to think
Date sent: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 01:25:14 +0100
Send reply to: [log in to unmask]
From: "frank kretschmer" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: T.S. Eliot's pacifism
----- Original Message -----
From: marco manunta
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2002 7:16 PM
Subject: T.S. Eliot's pacifism
first: I don't really like to be told what is right in "one, two, three"
steps. Its sounds so authoritarian.
>I don't think that's the right angle from which to judge Eliot's poetry.
>First, poetry is a matter of metrics and adequacy of that to the poem's
Seriously? Well, if so, it sounds very much like an argument on
fundamental concepts of literature, and so I may answer in likewise
fashion, although I normally AVOID THIS KIND OF DISCUSSIONS;
ARE IN MOST CASES DESTRUCTIVE RATHER THAN HELPFUL:
I personally (as well as academically) believe that any poetry which
co-exists with a great war is, if intended or not, a comment on this
situation. A poet who stays silent throughout the years of a worldwide
catastrophe (which Eliot did not, as we have already argued) also
on the situation. Literature never exists within itself, it is always
connected to the world it exists in, and reading (& analysing) literature
can to my understanding never be separated from this. Then, and only then,
comes the adequacy of form and subject.
>Second I do believe that considering the latter from a "politically
>point of view is to turn literature into something which, by definition,
>is not and cannot be.
What can then can literature be?
>Third, it sounds a lot like older discussions regarding whether you had
>to share TSE's belief to appreciate his poetical output. So dumb!
Can you for instance hear a Cat Stevens record in the same way as during
the days when it was not known that he had turned to be a rather
fundamentalist Islamist (as far as I know, he agreed to the "death
warrent" for Rushdy)? It is not as easy as you put it.
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