dangerous sensations. And, as in life, so in art both are necessary, husbands and lovers. It’s a pity when one is forced to choose between them. —Susan Sontag, “Camus’ Notebooks,” in Against Interpretation (Dell Publishing, 1969) In a political culture ofmanaged spectacles and passive spectators, poetry appears as a rift, a peculiar lapse, in the prevailing mode. The reading of a poem, a poetry reading, is not a spectacle, nor can it be passively received. It’s an exchange of electrical currents through language—that daily, mundane, abused, and ill-prized medium, that instrument of deception and revelation, that material thing, that knife, rag, boat, spoon/ reed become pipe/tree trunk become drum/mud become clay flute/conch shell become summons to freedom/old trousers and petticoats become iconography in appliqué/rubber bands stretched around a box become lyre. —Adrienne Rich, “Someone Is Writing a Poem” fromWhat Is FoundThere: Notebooks on Poetry andPolitics. (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1993) …we heard that [Hemingway] was back in Paris and telling a number of people how much he wanted to see her. Don’t you come home with Hemingway on your arm, I used to say to her when she went out for a walk. Sure enough one day she came back bringing him with her…. They sat and talked a long time. Finally I heard her say, Hemingway, after all you are ninety percent Rotarian. Can’t you, he said, make it eighty percent. No, she said regretfully, I can’t. —Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography ofAlice B. Toklas, SelectedWritings of Gertrude Stein (Random House, 1946) Why go grubbing in muck heaps? The world is fair, and the proportion of healthy-minded men and honest women, to those who are foul, fallen or unnatural is great. Mr Oscar Wilde has again been writing stuff that were better unwritten; and while The Picture ofDorian Gray, which he contributes to Lippincott’s, is ingenious, interesting, full of cleverness, and plainly the work of a man of letters, it is false art—for its interest is medicolegal; it is false to human nature—for its hero is a devil, it is false to morality—for it is not made sufficiently clear that the writer does not prefer a course of unnatural iniquity to a life of cleanliness, health and sanity. The story—which deals with matters only fit for the Criminal Investigation Department or a hearing in camera—is discreditable alike to author and editor…Mr. Wilde has brains, and art, and style; but if he can write for none but outlawed noblemen and perverted telegraph-boys, the sooner he Volume 8 No 1 - Page 15

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