[-empyre-] introducing week 3

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sun Nov 23 12:08:29 EST 2014

On Sat, 22 Nov 2014, Ana Vald?s wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> I agree totally with Murat. The question, what is to be done? should
> not be asked.
> You, me, we, can't do other things that the things we do, it means,
> write, pain, dance, play, denounce. Again, Picassos Guernica didn't
> stop the war or the bombings of Guernica, but the horse and the bull
> he painted represent still today the most powerful abhorr against
> fascism.

I am good friend to a Palestine family, nephews of both
> Ibrahim Tuqan and Fadwa Tuwan, two of Palestine greatest poets.
> Fadwa Tuqan lived in the UK for a while but went back to her beloved
> Nablus and never left it again. She wrote wonderful patriotic poems
> against the Israeli occupation. The prime minister Sharon said he was
> more afraid of her poetry than of the suicide bombers..
> Ana

I'm not arguing against the quality of work - to me the missing themselves 
or their bodies or the camps are the most powerful messages - and they are 
ineffectual, the wars go on just as they always have. Yes, the work is 
powerful - for me, Celan is of that quality, so many others. And they 
deepen our understanding of pain and violence, death and genocide. But 
they prevent nothing, they're political short-circuits - if anything, the 
world is far more violent today, since Celan and Picasso, and in the 
United States, there are far more incarcerations, far more killings I 
believe, far more acceptable racisms, than there have been before. 
Expressing anguish is helpful to those with empathy, but it is otherwise 
deeply ineffectual, while beheadings are certainly effectual, from the 
Assyrians to our own day. This at least is the dilemma for me; my work, I 
believe is eloquent in its content, but does nothing in the larger misery 
of the world. What is needed, ways of coping with overpopulation with 
dealing with religious intolerance and starvation, with preserving the 
biological species that are left...

- Alan

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