Appreciations & Asides Notes and quotes from artists and critics we love, on art, literature, and life, that we find curiously engaging. MODERN STATE PATRONAGE OF THE ARTS. HOW awful it is. Think of the buildings in Washington. Think of the gigantic statues set up all over the world representing the Worker, the Triumph of Fascism, the Freedom of the press. Think of National Anthems. —W.H. Auden, “The Prolific and the Devourer,” in The English Auden, ed. Edward Mendelsom (Faber and Faber, 1977) WE ARE LIVING IN A MORE AND MORE ARTIFICIAL world. We are living in a world surrounded by human contraptions instead of living creatures, and I profoundly believe this is something that can’t go on. I don't think we can live in a completely human-made world. The imagery continues to come out of the place that requires something beyond human fabrication, beyond the human origin of things. And this, I think, is why even people who don’t live all the time in the country, if they are above a certain age, will tend to use imagery that has to do with the natural world, and more and more readers can’t understand it…. I remember when Robert Bly came to visit me in France years ago. He was talking about surrealism in my poems and mentioned an image about a fly turning around a statue of nothing and said it was surrealistic. And I said, “It’s not, Robert,” and I took him into a room on the farm and showed him flies going round and round and round in a circle, in the middle of the room. —W. S. Merwin, “Language is the Articulation ofMyth,” in At Home in the Dark Conversations with Ten American Poets, David Elliott (Keystone College Press, 2018) EMILY DICKINSON DIFFERED FROM EVERY OTHER major New England writer of the nineteenth century, and from every major American writer of the century save Melville, of those affected by New England, in this: that her New England heritage, Volume 7 - Page 15

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