On Mon, 16 Mar 1998, Douglas Clark wrote:
> Fred Beake to Ric Caddell
Dear Fredd, Thanks for your reply and c.v. stating previous experience. Of
course I know you exist, but I'm going to carry on kidding you about it as
long as you continue to get my name wrong.
Thanks for placing your original piece, and explaining some of its
shortcomings, in the context of the debate in Acumen. Had I realised it
was one of those sterile walk-this-way-no-walk-that-way exchanges I'd
probably not have commented. Anyway, your recent post - showing distinct
and welcome signs of flexibility - is so far removed from the original
that I think we can leave it behind, yes? Your new post - perhaps "rote"
as Keston calls it - has very little I'd wish to comment on, other than to
welcome your commitment to sound, and to "organic self-generating form"
which, if I understand it corectly, is similar to something which many
poets - on and off this list - have pursued for years.
Couple of points:
1. I really can't identify my "implicit assumption that these matters can
be dealt with only by instinct" - that's certainly a travesty of what I
said. I was speaking personally against rigid reliance upon old rules, as
I had thought was clear, and if you can't conceive a wealth of possibility
between rules and instinct, your imagination is considerably more limited
than I'd hoped. In my own case, my practice varies according to the needs
of the work in hand, and won't be teased into a generalised theory.
2. How sad I find your rather tired assertion that there's less variety
and range of sound response today than there was in the golden '70s. Since
- yet again - you give no examples of these range-free midgets I can't
comment (on past experience, if I name a few exceptions, you'll say, well
of course, I didn't mean them, I've been supporting them since they were
infants...) - other than to plead with you to "consider the possibility
that you might be wrong". It's just possible that you're not reading it
right, whatever it is.
Finally, Fredd, a short lecture on biodiversity: there are many species
out there, and how ever much they may appear opposite and disparate, they
contribute to the ecosystem as a whole. You make a lot of unsupported
assertions of the decline of the true worship of "rhythm and/or subject"
without once suggesting that you're open to what these (unnamed) writers
may be doing instead. Perhaps you don't recognise it, perhaps you don't
like it - from the general landscape-in-decline as you paint it I just
can't tell. I simply want to urge you to receive this new work - whatever
it is - on its own terms. There's such a range out there - from the wild
and woolly to the "mainstream" - and it seems to me that most of it
contributes something (how's that for general!) if we only pin back our
ears and listen.
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