Wednesday, January 26, 2005

11:35AM - Tuesday January 25

So... i'll respond to the comments posted on my site by the Anonymous blogger. By "modern literary study" i'm loosely referring to 20th Century literature as written in the mainstream (i'm going to jump all over in responding to your concerns). I'm not suggesting that only writers have a responsibility to examine themselves. We all do. However, as cultural standard-bearers, the writer's thought processes and visions of the world are on display, and whether or not writing has chosen you, i think it is impossoble to ignore the marvelous opportunity that writing gives the writer to examine his/her own thinking on a daily basis. Of course, some folks look at their belief systems, examine themselves and choose some modes of thought that are unfortunate. Such is likely the same for a very many of us in or out of writing. I still think, though, (and maybe this is my naivete at work) that an honest examination of why we think the things we do, an honest rational investigation of all the ideas brought to bear on why we think this way about this thing or that thing, will yield more opportunities to make ourselves better people and to challenge our world on a day by day, living basis.

As for V.S. Naipaul, his prejudices run really deep and i think, are steeped in all sorts of cultural complexities based on being Indian in English colonial Trinidad in the time when he was. In short, brother got issues! And yes, he is a brilliant writer. I think his best work is still "A house for Mr. Biswas", and there are in that novel and many of his other works an understanding of his world that while prejudiced, sheds a particular kind of very exposing light on that world. Because it is well-written, you get to make your decision about the characters, about the world he is portraying (in my opinion) without necessarily being interrupted by the author's prejudices.

In terms of creating personas in poetry, i think the decisions one makes in the poem, give us some sense of the deconstruction of issues and facts that are taking place through the eyes of a character (or thing) which if well written attends to all the complexities involved (see Patricia Smith's "The Undertaker" or anything from Ai's "Greed").

So that's it for me and this subject for the time being. Here's a suggestion (you may ignore it if you like Mr./Ms. Anonymous). How about making yrself known to me so that i may send responses to your future comments directly to you (so that even if i don't feel like addressing your discussion on the blog, i can still respond).

Meanwhile, rehearsals every day for VIA's "Tough Line" for the Dickinson College residency. I've taken on a very Zen attitude towards it though. I will not be flustered or frustrated. I will balance my anxiety levels precisely; just so, that i might be alert enough to perform well but not so that i lose my mind and want to stab anyone before the end of the residency.

later - GQ magazine has really interesting articles about Jamie Foxx and Javier Bardem and Strom Thurman's black daughter.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the response to my queries. indeed, "A House for Mr. Biswas" is an enduring classic in which Naipaul transcends himself.

don't mind letting you know my email, but certainly not via this website. maybe one day when i am passing through new york, i'll say hello.


12:13 PM  

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