Wagner's music

alec ramsdell a_ramsdell at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 12 19:33:17 PST 1998

Mike Yates wrote:

> The issue of an artist's politics is an interesting one. . .

I like the example of the poet George Oppen, who left the US to organize workers in Mexico for many years. He was forced to leave the country during the commie witch-hunts--the FBI had a file on him.

But then I'm fond of Gertrude Stein also, whom Michael Gold referred to as a "literary idiot" whose work was just decadent leisure time drivel. That's a pretty exclusionary reading. The virtue of works like "Lifting Belly" (a great take on lesbian eroticism) and "Stanzas in Meditation" is that they get into the material of language, the syntagm, grammar--one might read such pieces as critiques of ideological suture, Lacan's point de capiton. Maybe a foregrounding of the imaginary over the symbolic?


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