From: Jon Corelis <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
I did have no more to say on this but
| I have to agree with Peter that this list is not a proper place for
|hot personal disputes, even if they arise from literary events.
Indeed. Personal disputes, hot or otherwise, whatever "hot"might be thought
to mean in such a context.
It is a question of course where the public becomes personal and the
personal public. The kind of politics wherein one has any power are at the
point where the two, public and private, blur.
Those who wish to have the benefits without deficits of the community - and
I am NOT thinking of anyone particularly here - will tend to dismiss what is
at least partly public as personal. Anything to get it out of the way. Only
they know who they are. We cannot see into their thoughts. Whoever they are,
they are or were dishonest in such situations; "were" because it is
possible to so damage one's sense of responsibility as to be incapable of
exercising it in the future.
Anyone wishing to dismiss a dispute as personal, to be honest, should ask
themselves if it really is so and, if not, if they are wishing it to be so
against the evidence. For years, for instance, domestic violence was
dismissed as a private matter because collectively and individually
individuals and organisations did not wish to deal with it. Often it isn't
much better now. There are many other examples, but that will do.
Where someone has PUBLISHED an unprovoked personal attack upon one of our
colleagues then that *is PUBLIC - because it has been published. Pretend,
anyone who will, that it is other... and yet it moves.
In the case that has concerned us recently, the personal abuse by Andrew
Duncan of Bill Griffiths and others in a published article and the apparent
attack upon Griffiths in a bad parody published by Duncan, there may be a
personal element. The personal element would be how and why someone can grow
up physically and yet remain apparently addicted to name calling and abuse
even though they are clearly capable of adult thought; but given that the
remarks are made in public, *they are a public matter.
Some will disagree because they cannot follow what I have said. Others will
say they disagree because in fact they don't want to risk their necks. I
have no way of knowing one from the other and try not to judge. I don't
think there are any other alternatives that can honestly be argued if public
and private are to retain their meaning.
I DO know - at least I could go through my emails and draw up a list - who
have backed my stand privately, encouraged me, but not said so publicly. I
treat them with courtesy; but, potentially - because I TRY to hold my
judgement pending further insights - I despise them for cowardice.
I do also know that the majority on this list have said nothing and I
suspect that *some of them at least have kept quiet because they lack the
courage to speak up; I may be wrong. I do not of course know who they are,
but I still have my potential contempt ( - as I remarked recently, Thatcher
didn't happen to us, it was done to us and themselves by those who voted for
An attack upon an individual is the concern of us all. Bad law is made,
bullies thrive, wars are made, because the majority stay quiet - "not my
concern" - and those who do so knowingly are culpable, sometimes more so
than the perpetrators.
So, given that I cannot think of any dispute at all that has been aired here
apart from the public disputes to which I have referred, I have to say that
I could not disagree more with Jon Corelis who, in his post, has added
nothing to the debate upon the attack upon BG or any other issue relating to
Literature. If his "tis tisnt" parody in his subject heading is meant to
refer to these matters, then the most polite thing I can say is "shame on
him". It does not represent what has been said here.
I have argued against poetry being to do with The Truth, but it is to do
with honesty; if we are poets then we could at least try to be honest with
ourselves and each other.