Culture could mean so many things if Literature could
mean any 'printed material'.  There are some essential
distinctions we need to make while we define a word
like 'culture' or 'literature'.



--- Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Vishvesh Obla wrote:
> >
> >  I
> > believe that poetry has its own context, its own
> > perspective and we only put too much of ourselves
> > distorting what it essentially is, when we look at
> it
> > from so many related details, that have a kind of
> > historic interest alone.   Poetry has been read as
> a
> > cultural activity and that explains it for me.
> >
> There are two problems here. The first is that the
> concept of "essence"
> always raises an infernal complex of questions --
> even when it is
> applicable, and it is not clear to me that poetry
> _has_ an "essence." Or
> if it has, no one has as yet been able to define and
> explain it
> satisfactorily. Most attempts include either too
> much or too little
> within the allowed domain.
> Your definition includes far too much. It is as if
> one were to say that
> colas are essentially liquids. True, but not of
> great interest.
> Similarly, "cultural activity" includes styles in
> shirts, lunch-break
> habits in factories, decisions whether to call the
> 10th grade the 10th
> grade or the sophomore year, preferred  positions
> for sexual intecourse,
> and internal structure of dwelling units. (Consider
> the last: up until
> quite recent times homes/mansions/etc did not have
> hallways. Consider
> the impact of that on sleeping habits. And of course
> the bulk of the
> population would not even have separate bedrooms;
> see The Reeves Tale.)
> That is, however difficult it is to define poetry,
> it is even _more_
> difficult to define "culture," and hence a
> definition of poetry in terms
> of culture creates more questions than it answers.
> Carrol

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