On Fri, 30 Jun 2000, Phil Simmons wrote:
> Keston, is it ?
> "Tory" ?? That's fighting talk ! Trouble is, you could just as easily
> substitute "Marxist" (or 'pseudoMarxist' or 'cryptoMarxist' or whatever) and
> apply it to your own approach. We ain't all fans of old Karl, you know, but
> that don't make us any less interested in what makes the world tick.
> Totalising ideologies are invariably bad news - this is empirically
> verifiable throughout history. And I still don't see why all or any of us
> should be obliged to prove our ideological credentials in order to write
> about things.
Hello Phil -- apologies if I seemed a bit pugnacious, it's just
dispiriting to devote (again and again) lots of time to conducting a
conscientious and open argument, only to be met by a dismissive quip and
heedless reversion to the same old dollops of common-sense. I said 'Tory'
because you repeated their election slogan "back to basics", not because I
would impute to you any political affiliations: chagrin, not
analysis. You're quite right, my position -is- Marxist, within a
continuing and mutable tradition of that commitment. Your remark about
"totalising ideologies" seems groundless and awry, to me; perhaps you (and
anyone else concerned by imaginary Stalinist nuances) could have another
look at my first post entitled "totality of relations / totality of
predicates". I was speaking only about a totality of relations that could
have implications for the way poets think about their writing, and not
about any archaic imperative to organize people according to a
totalitarian principle of government.
Off to burn my books and knit barbed wire, K
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "K.M. Sutherland" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: "Phil Simmons" <[log in to unmask]>
> Cc: "british-poets Mailing List" <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, June 30, 2000 1:14 PM
> Subject: Re: re. serious poetry
> > On Fri, 30 Jun 2000, Phil Simmons wrote:
> > > Thanks for your refreshing 'back to basics' message, Patrick. I think
> > > 'reading it' might come in there somewhere as a priority, but otherwise
> > > inclined to agree. I'm very glad the 'totality' argument seems to have
> > > tired of itself and gone to bed.
> > >
> > > Best Phil Simmons
> > >
> > >
> > So that instead we can drift about somnolently with pointless echoes of
> > Tory sloganeering and regressive truisms? How about this: don't attempt
> > to -comprehend and to criticize- that discussion, just let your eyeballs
> > roll into whichever nook seems snuggest. Poetry, you just have to write
> > it and read it. Wow. K