Friday, January 25, 2008

The Real Shakspere

This week I jumped into a discussion on another blog, Daniel Green's "Reading Experience," on the post "Publish or Perish.) (See www.noggs,typepad.com/the_reading_experience)

On matters of literature, Green is my ideological opposite. He has a selfish view of literature-- if he had his wish the art would belong to him alone. The idea of reaching the masses is anathema to him.

He's advocated the polite kind of
poetry reading
of gentle words
and stripped-down verse
no rhythmn of rumbling building energy
of shouted unpleasantries
that shake the listener's spine--
no rhyme or euphonious line--
Not poetry at all.

And so he's far distant from the long ago literary performer who was the inspiration for THIS blog, Will Shakespeare.

THE QUESTION was about Ray Carver, and whether the art belongs to the artist, or to the conglomerate system of literary bureaucrats and skyscraper offices that bought it.

It's strictly a question of control. Amazing to me is how writers like Daniel Green are so eager to cede control to the hierarchs.

The irony is that people today applaud themselves for their non-conformity, yet are the most conformist generation of the most regulated and conformist society in history.

This subservient attitude is bad for literature and art.

An eye-opener for me was when I researched the original documents regarding "Shakspere," to understand the actual person.

His mentality was 180 degrees opposite that of writers today. With his writing itself he was restricted by no one. (He couldn't go too far with ideas against the Crown, of course.)

This man-- he was only a man; a roustabout actor-- felt free, as writers today are NOT free, to play with words, grammar, spelling. He wasn't a product of the Academy. There were no dictionaries. No editors as we know them. He was as much, or more, an artist of verbal language as of the written kind. His words and grammar were often made up on the spot. (He was much like a couple clown actor street writers I know.) This character Shakspere would never, NEVER, fit into today's hyperregulated system of literature.

Literary people today want stylistic standardization because they're creatures of the precision and standardization of the Machine Age introduced with Industrial Capitalism. The artisan exchanged for the assembly line.

Do we really need the standardization of literature? Which means, of our minds?

Why?

Well, to be plugged into proper jobs in this institutional bureaucracy or that one, that's why.

But what has this to do with art?

WHAT HAS THIS TO DO WITH ART???

Sure, Shakespeare was a genius, we say now. Yea, sure.

But in a way he wasn't a genius at all.

He was a scrambling boozing shitting struggling-to-survive-and-have-fun-while-doing-it character. He had fun, and today, hearing his words, seeing his plays, we have fun also.

Were Blake and Van Gogh geniuses?

Or were they not eccentrics of original vision?

What fun is there in foillowing the crowd?

Better to break the rules, snub the regulators, the school marms, the high priests of culture to step eagerly into the unknown.

3 comments:

FDW said...

Sweet!
"... the predjudice in favor of plain English... comes to nothing.
I have never been able to see why...
Anglo Saxon should... higgle and haggle all over the page, contesting the right of other words.... If the poem ... require a hierophantic phrase, this phrase should pass....
This is a way of saying that...[O]f style is not to limit it, but to enlarge it, not to impoverish it but to enlarge and liberate it."
--- Wallace Stevens, TWO OR THREE IDEAS, 1951.


Yr. lil' ditty exeplifies your strike against burgher Green, but setting a model up in verse therein to reflect your points and it doing so under your hand by inclination and in "parts of speech"
so measured well that the reader experience what you signal with the poem and by that mean experience get your meaning! And in turn having no reason to go there but knows in turn what the kind of poetry Green is hawking in the market place by it's stench.

Like Dante sez but updated "Dolce stil nuovo".
Sweet!

FDW said...

The Green Nogg'in at the blog post comment he makes in response to your comment to his objective seeming post modern cottage industry (tho cottage in this case means sucking up to "the Ivory Tower" and all the MFAers in his Big Apple chorus )effused original posts concerning the seperation between the Church of bully editor- critics and the State of independent writers and the transference of those writers' facility (and felicity) through the work of those writers-- namely in this case Nabokov and Carver.
But it really is his jibe at the end of his comment on your comment that betrays him as a priestly mediator in the pocket of the Publishing Establishment where he just can't resist to take a swipe at you and the ULA collective as he calls it. But then is it really that he can't resist or is it simply a processed and knee-jerk reflex of the Demi-puppets toward what the ULA just has to stand for in their blind man's bluff. Where the ULA is the scapegoat and bogeyman that must be posited in the mind set of the Demis by which their status quo is justified and made more turgid and immovable in terms of percieved mainstream status in the Kulchur wars.
The crux of the matter and the crux of the "issues" as he calls them early on in his latest post concerning Nabakov's last and unfinished (hah!- unfinished is finished if the creator leaves them that way by happening to die)"work" and whether the auteur is self determining by the saction of the reading public or whether it is the editor/mediator who packages the work of the artist to make it more presentable as an offering to Pseudopod/Moloch, is the whole concept and really just the use of the word genius.
When the autist "makes" a work what an editor does should at all times be to do a job. See, work and job are epistomologic'ly two different things. But the Demi's doan wanna let any body kow that, see. Just as especially that doan wanna let nobody know let alone use the word genius as if to even mention words like genius or, especially, gawd forbid, Imagination. So anyway as Greene does in his exchange with you King the Demis will deny and try to assimilate the threat of certain terms like genius in order to make you seem less than naive and allow themseves to hid their penis-envy behind the veil of hipness and metrosexual dominance/submissive devisiveness.
I bet him a purple- coloured schnapps that in this time of deep crisis in Amurikkka there are thousands of geniuses crawling all over John Brown's body.
As there where geniuses in the Renaissance and in the early English Romantic period for the same reasons-- of crises. Times of war, oppression of an outdated and insider laden elite, sorta like a Church,in fact. And the genius of resistense and revolt!

"Dolce stil nuovo!"

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