Postmodern Collage Poetry

A blog about writing collage poetry, post modern poetry, multi lingual poetry

Monday, May 24, 2004

What Do All these Artists/Writers Have in Common?

What do all these Artists/Authors have in common?

Ezra Pound
Emile Nolde
Salvador Dali
FT Marinetti
Jean Cocteau

They were all Fascists.

What do all these Artists/Authors have in common?

Pablo Picasso
Pablo Neruda
Diego Rivera
Frida Kahlo

They were all Communists.

I once read an essay by Marjorie Perloff where she posited why is Pound rejected
for being a Fascist but Neruda won the Nobel even though he was a supporter of Stalin? It is important I believe to ask the question are the Arts better because their are so few innovative Right Wing voices?

If you access any poetry website or listserv you will find positions that are as leftish as possible not that anyone on these lists or in these groups really believes this stuff it is part of the clothing of being an intellectual. This is not to say that people are not passionate about certain things, women's issues, race issues and more but there is a knee jerk reaction that all that is right is bad all that is left, even Stalin is good.

It is important I think that we separate people's ideas from their art. Should we blame Neruda or Picasso for Stalin's purges or the Gulag? Of course not and we should not blame Pound or Dali for their Fascist positions. I wonder what Frida Kahlo would really think of Madonna? We need to condemn hate.

I think however that it is time to ask where is the sanity in all of this? When you have Mother Jones, the Pope, Joschka Fischer and Jacque Chirac agreeing on an issue like the war you have to ask what do these guys know that we do not? It is not an issue of right or left it is an issue of real answers to real questions. Maybe it is time to ask what is universal?

There have been right wingers and left wingers who have been correct at different times. Churchill was right about Hitler and wrong about India, Gandhi was wrong about Hitler and right about India. I think that this is the issue. I see so many people who want to sit in their own echo chamber, and be reinforced and perhaps what we need is to get a Dana Gioia and Charles Bernstein in a room and let them duke it out/ maybe something good would come out?

Maybe we would learn something?