Respondent: Especially in this choice of themes it was ark seems to me still rooted in the rather blatant resurrect of official, socialist realism. All the new poets in Russia know that the great one among them the real poet's poet, the first modern poet in the land is Andrei Voznesenski, who was 29 and who was first trained as an architect. Let me read to you two of this poems as I have rendered them, the first recalls the destruction by fire of the Moscow Architectural Institute where Voznesenski studied for his degree fire in the architectural institute through all the room and over the blueprints like an amnesty through the jail, fire- fire, high on the sleepy facade shamelessly, mischievously like a red assed baboon a window skitters. We'd already written our thesis but time had come for us to defend them they are crackling away in a sealed cupboard all that was bad report for me. The drafting papers wounded it's a red fall of leaves, my drawing boards are burning, whole cities are burning. Five summers and five winters shoot up in flames like a jar of kerosene. Carrying my pet ohey we are on fire. Farewell architecture its down to a cinder for all those cowsheds decorated with cupids and those post offices and (inaudible 0:02:06) poco; oh you phoenix, ninny your dissertation is hot stuff flirting it's little red skirt now flaunting its little red tongue, farewell life in the sticks. Life is a series of burnt out sites nobody escapes the bonfire if you live you burn but tomorrow out of these ashes more poisonous than a bee your compass point will dart to sting you in the finger. Everything is gone up in smoke and there is no end of people sighing. It's the end, it's only the beginning, lets go to the movies. Why is the poet so in love with that fire? A good citizen should deplore the destruction of property especially of stake property. The poet loves that fire because it reveals itself as a metaphor for rage, for a passion burning beyond control, for a new and beautiful disorder that will make a wreck of the old establishment. The poet's technical controls are there not to some other thought or to hard language into rigid moulds but to be a sort of net an invisible net of wind to blow with the mind and its motion. Ever since the dawn of the industrial revolution the great art of the western world wherever it has been permitted to flourish has fought against the oppression, mechanization and dehumanization. This is what the Romantic Movement is all about. Has sought to find the self and make it whole in a world of bits and pieces, has opposed the individual conscience to the inflated power of the corporate state. The characteristic artist of the modern world cries with joyous (Steven Douglas 0:04:18) Non serviam, I will not serve. And repeats the ambition of Chekhov to squeeze the last drop of the (inaudible 0:04:28) out of his veins. Can you all hear me? To turn back to Voznesenski, here is my second translation of a poem that is extraordinarily violent and harrowing in the original. The Skull Ballad, which I've set with as much fidelity as I could to the measure of the English ballad, that wasn't easy. The scene is the Red Square in Moscow, the place of skulls. The poem's subtitle reads, a digression into March 1719, ostensibly the protagonist is Peter the Great and engaged in the pretty spectacle of beheading his mistress. But there is no fool in Russia who does not conjure up Stalin and more when he reads the lines. The Skull Ballad. The peasants flock from miles around to gape at the terrible Tzar and jeer and spit at his spying bitch that dirty foreigner. The Tzar is skinny as a nag and black as anthracite. His eyes slide over his cold black face like a skidding motorbike. Her head rose from the blow of his axe to the toe of his hunter's boot. He dangles it high above the crowd like a red top (inaudible 0:06:06). He grips her cheeks in an iron vise; he cracks the bridge of her nose, the blood spurts from golden throat on her executioner's clothes. Her kisses her full upon the mouth while a groan sweeps through the crowd and suddenly silence stuns the square as the death's head speak the loud. The loved one oh worshipful Tzar I will not judge my guilt but why do thy hands stick to my skin and taste of my own heart (inaudible 0:06:52). Let me confess my womanhood, my crime deserves the whip, I tremble where that crimson flick hangs on my bristling lip. Love is so small who cares for love in times like these men build and set a world on fire you kiss me state in blood, in blood. What if you reek of (inaudible 0:07:26) and peas, such passion has a flavor, progress you drive me mad for you. I want you to rule for ever. Stock still the greatest of Tzar stood black, black as bread, a witness from broad jerk back like a spike rammed to its head. On the publication last year of the Skull Ballad in a cycle by Voznesenski called the Triangular Pair of which 100,000 copies were sold two months in advance of publication. The American poets take notice. A henchman of the central committee naturally a critic by name Nazerenko suggested that Voznesenski deliberately invented the beheading the (Ann Mons 0:08:26) mistress of Peter the Great, she actually died a natural death at the so called place of skulls on Red Square inserted such anachronism as a motor bike and Tzar's moustache, Peter was clean shaven. And use soviet terminology such as the word for construction meaning socialist construction in the lines which read literally who cares for love in a time of construction and conflagration. As a disguised protest against basic Marxist concepts. We have here an allegorical form complains Nazerenko gloomy reflections on the supposedly tragic fate of the individual supposedly crushed by social laws, on nocturnal and universal scale the message is that the world is immutable and that everything will remain as it always was that man is eternal and tragedy of the individual is eternal, that's treason. No wonder that Khrushchev flew into a rage at the short lived exhibition of Soviet modern art in Moscow last November. In language that must be recorded and remembered no matter how unspeakably coarse it is he bespattered the assembled artist at the opening. The people and government have taken a lot of trouble with you and you pay them back with this shit. My opinion is that you call all go to hell abroad. This is an art for donkeys. They say that some of our writers praise these pictures and buy them, that's because our writers are too prosperous and have money to through away. You (inaudible 0:10:13) either to get out or paint differently. Judging by these experiments I am entitled to think you're all (inaudible 0:10:19) and for that you can 10 years. Gentlemen we are declaring war on you, this is from an unpublished text which will appear in the appear in the April issue of Encounter along with the poems that I've just read to you. So much for higher criticism. I don't want to close this portion of my talk on such a sordid level. Let me add as a livening that there was a meeting that followed in December with 400 artists, composers and writers Yevtushenko rose to protest against the charge that Russia's foremost sculptor Ernst Neizvestny is guilty of producing what the official jargon called unpatriotic formalist art. He said Neizvestny came back from the war with 14 bullets in his body and I hope he will live for many more years and produce many more fine works of art. As people Khrushchev retorted in his well know folksy style. Only the grave corrects the hunchback. I hope (inaudible 0:11:33) I hope we have outlived the time when the grave is used as a means of correction. All art that is worthy of the name tells us that there are other means of correction than the grave. The important thing about the art of one's own time is that it exists. We might as well realize however it infuriates us that it is the only art we can get. No case is worth arguing except the case for it. The one Nina pretends that all of it equally good, or that one's judgment is impartial. Most critics and scholars and dictators even when they appear friendly are engaged in fighting a rear guard action against modern art. They've true taste when they cannot glut themselves on the art of the art of the past where they feel on safe ground is for a contemporary art that is born pass. Eventually they work up enough nerve to jump on the bandwagon but by then it is already too late. They are lucky to grasp the tailboard. As (Andre Mullrow 0:12:55) has said by the time impressionism had conquered the salons, it was no longer the art of the future. Likewise by the time (inaudible 0:13:05) had become a parlor game and a fashion gimmick it had already exhausted its momentum and likewise by the time the big poets have become the darlings if on occasions the whip darlings of Time and Life magazines, they had already succeeded in falling on their faces. The art of a period is largely an unconscious manifestation. It cannot be turned from its course by logic or wheeled into greatness. As well as Steven's once remarked Stalin might grind his teeth the whole of the Russian winter yet all the poets in the Soviet might remain silent the following spring. The fury of poetry he also said always comes from the presence of a mad man or two, but at the moment all the mad men are politicians. Not quite all I should add. I know a few poet's like myself who aren't exactly fat cats. Essentially, art is a secret and solitary activity and the stream the artist dips in runs mostly underground. After the event comes the explanation. Ideally, the poet who stands at the crossroads of the arts where sounds and images meet is in a position to interpret and defend the work of the imagination and to put it into focus within a world view. The risk implicit in this activity is that it raises to the level of consciousness the very questions that will eventually lead to the overthrow of the of the prevailing style but what if does. The one certainty about the style of any period is that it will change not necessarily for the better not necessarily for the worst but change it will. In this discussion I shall talk mostly about literature and painting, mainly in order to avoid over complication of detail. But everything I say is I feel equally applicable to the other expressive arts. By a modern artist I mean somebody whose work emanates the peculiar spirit and flavor of this age. It could not have happened at any other time. This is not necessarily to be taken as valued judgment though it may contribute to one. Sometimes of course modernity is cultivated at considerable expense. It should be noted also that the degree of modernity is not always consistent with date of birth. Among the poets of this century I should say that William Carlos Williams was more modern that Robert Frost, though we mourn the loss of both of them. Beckett, Samuel Beckett is more modern I should say in playwriting than Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer or (inaudible 0:16:07) can be said to be more modern in my estimation at least than James Gould Cozzens. In painting, it's very hard to find traditionalist but certainly Willem de Kooning is more modern than let's say Andrew Wyatt. If I were to include one musical reference I should say that (inaudible 0:16:31) is more modern that (inaudible 0:16:38). Such modern artist considered as a phalanx have common origins than the history of 19th and 20th century western culture. What their bones know helps to make them what they are, most of us if we were asked to identify the prime agents in the revolution of modern thought would tend to name a familiar group of 19th and 20th giants. Darwin who destroyed the innocence of nature, Marx who destroyed the innocence of the State; Freud who destroyed the innocence of the mind; Einstein who destroyed the innocence of time and space. These are the scientists of our new world those who employed reason to overthrow the reasonable world into which they were born. We still have an inordinate respect for reason. And our respect increases to the point of reverence when reason appears pure enough to pass a science. I too am awed by scientific brains but at the same time I hold the truth is not their exclusive property that new ways of vision, new modes of feeling, new metaphors are aspect of the same reality as theirs and even more comprehensive in view. And that artists and scientist comprise a fraternity of the imagination subject to the same pressure of history and interdependent in their development. The vision of reality that marks the man of our time, a vision that is ever changing and yet as always thought to be reality itself owes much to the intellects I've already mentioned. It owes as much if not more to Cezanne and Picasso, to Rembrandt and T.S. Elliot to Dostoevsky and Joyce to Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. The list could be multiply. My final pair Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, I think are of as artist in the realm of philosophy and theology, the broad dominion of the speculative mind. Because of the nature of their art it is fairly easy to isolate what they have to say to us. We are the children of the Kierkegaard who meditated and read on the sickness and to death on fear and trembling who fought against (inaudible 0:19:09) rationalism, who defined the significance of the act of choice as an expression of being, who rejected the claims of objectivity consisting on truth as inwardness, relational truth, realizable only by an individual in action who stressed the necessity and commitment, the greatest commitment being the irrational act of faith. The faith that is priceless because it is absurd and we are the children of Nietzsche who wrote all truce are truce for me. Who questioned the whole structure of good and evil, who attacked the Christian ideal of asterism as a flight from live, the expression of a diseased will, who deplored the nausea or the sickness of self contempt who heard and himself man's desperate voice crying, I've got lost I'm everything that has got lost and who replied implacably what does your conscience say, you shall become who you are. These two men are curiously prophetic, who but Kierkegaard could have invented Kafka and who but Kafka could have dreamed up Adolf Eichmann. It was Nietzsche who said before it really happened we live in a period of atoms, of atomic chaos, who foresaw the nation state, who predicted the hunt for happiness will never be greater then when it must be caught between today and tomorrow because the day after tomorrow all the hunting time may have come to and end all together. We live in one of the most violent epoch of history, in which none of us can claim ignorance of the many faces of disorder. We have seen disorder in the (inaudible 0:21:06), witnessed the death struggle with the dictators, the great seismic shifts of power, the long drawn out collapse of the communist dream, the cruel tensions of the cold war. The slaughter and the psyche thanks to the excavations of doctors Freud and Young, to slaughter in the natural universe, superseding 19th Century deterministic order. Since the industrial revolution the main stays of order have been religion, science and (inaudible 0:21:38) morality. We need not discuss the last, since it scarcely exists; say there is hypocrisy of parody. As for religion the rationalists who preoccupy themselves with setting up proofs of divinity have perished and we are left the followers of Nietzsche proclaiming god is dead, and of Kierkegaard preaching believe but know that your belief is absurd. The third member of this trinity of order science is the craziest of the lot that is if commonsense is your criterion. No scientist (inaudible 0:22:18) would pretend for a moment that ordinary reason is equipped to cope with the structure of the universe. Science in fact is responsible for the great contradiction that runs like fault across the contemporary landscape. On the one hand by way of technology it has served to affect the triumph of mechanization and mediocrity on the other by way of theory it has opened the gates of the universe to mystery. Pure logicality wrote Einstein cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world. Einstein also remarked that commonsense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind prior to the age of 18. People are always complaining that modern art is unintelligible. Is there anything else on earth of any importance that they can truly profess to understand? The central observations of modern science are to be found crystallized in Planck's quantum theory Einstein's theory of relativity and Heisenberg's principal of uncertainty. They have left us a universe (inaudible 0:23:38) of time and space, which have been pushed back into the human consciousness forms of intuition. A universe without cause and effect the cornerstone of old science which have been replaced by fields of statistics and probabilities. A universe then of indeterminacy and caprice not stabilized by things but storming with energy and motion. A universe whose objective reality if it has any about which there is serious dispute we can never hope to know. Heisenberg, who demonstrated that the very act of observation changes the phenomenon to be observed quietly asserts without feeling the need for an explanation point. Modern physics in the final analysis has already discredited the concept of truly real, so it is that probing the universe man finds everywhere himself we are both spectators and actors and the great drama of existence wrote another noble prize physicist Neil Bohr. The most recent explorations of inner space which matched the drama of our investigations of outer space lead us further along the road to nothingness. The atom which used to be immutable and eternal turns out to be neither. It has been broken down into some 30 elementary particles of what are loosely called particles even when they have no mass and the quest is from ended. Beyond matter we begin to hear strange stories about the properties of anti-matter. The most rabid inhabitant of the zoo of modern physics, since it destroys both itself and ordinary matter at once, when the two approach each other, it makes me think of some people I know. Three centuries ago Pascal could write in words that still ring majestically man is only a reed, the (feebless 0:25:45) reed in nature. But he is a thinking reed. There is no need for the entire universe to arm itself in order to annihilate him, a vapor; a drop of water suffices to kill him. But for the universe to crush him man would yet be more noble that which slays him, because he knows he dies and the advantage that the universe has over him of this the universe knows nothing. The pride of Pascal who gloried in the blessed gift of reason rests on the conviction that man is man, nature is nature the one subject the other object as if to say though the king can be killed by a naive the naive can never deprive him of this royalty. But a man of our time no longer stands separate from and superior to the natural universe. He has become part of his very field of perception, he is scattered into the drifting cosmic dust and the dust flows through him. Furthermore it is no longer nature that threatens existence, it is the rapacious, hairless, biped homo-sapiens that beast that know so much and love so little. Modern portrait painting wrote the German expressionist Oscar Kokoschka despairingly in the dark days of 1945 has become a difficult task. Since the artist who tries to make people see the human being who has become invisible in the present day man is apt to make a fool of himself. Since society is at present a mathematically and bureaucratically conceived mass organization, we cannot hear the last bell toll. Although the apocalyptic horsemen are already shaking heaven and earth. We do not mind the stench of the funeral pyre in our world, since humanism died man is soulless, he no longer cares whether he lives or dies. The march of industrial civilization will be marked with utter ruin and destruction like the path of the hordes that once invaded Europe. There will no portrait left of modern man because he has lost his face and is turning towards the jungle. I might add at this point that the condition Kokoschka describes is precisely the one that underlies our present dissatisfaction with the traditional novel, which more and more exposes itself with each new crop of entertainment as an exhausted or at least fatigued form. The narrative convention was set up and developed in a world where man had face and station, the former emblematic of character the latter of an ordered society a stable reality. Today in the middle of a hurricane the novelist searches for his hero among the faceless that goes for the dramatist too. A recent writer and playwright (Unesco 0:29:04) argues that the essence of Unseco's theater deriving from surrealism is a systematic destruction of common place, founded in his conviction that the common place is precisely that which is untrue. A layer of great falsehood concerning the perpetual newness of the horror of life. He has evolved a drama which we had told supremely well adapted to our world that world in which science has escaped beyond the balance of logic, which the only meaning is that what takes account of absurdity and the only reality that which includes materially impossible. (Informal Talk) To understand what is meant by the concept of absurdity you must begin by feeling what it means to be a stranger in the universe. A feeling that no bridge party, ballgame, lodge meeting, rotary club dinner or museum lecture, in short no artificial substitute for communion can obliterate. As (inaudible 0:30:18) phrased it a world that can be explained by reasoning, however faulty is familiar world but in a universe that is suddenly deprived of illusions and of light man feels a stranger. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting truly constitutes the feeling of absurdity. The first symptoms of the disintegration of our ordered universe appeared in the arts before it became generally obvious. And this is the way it usually happens. The landscape begins to tremble in the painting of Cezanne. The tied of modern French poetry dates from earlier in the same decade about 1870, marked by an explosion to language of the irrational elements of the human personality. From then on poetry tended to be become of ethic of some sort of irregular instrument of transcendental knowledge. Poets were obsessed by the need to change life and Rembrandt put it, to change man and to bring him into direct contact with existence, to regain strength by recapturing man's free logical powers and in the realm of unconscious to heal the split between self and universe, the great metaphysical boom. At about the same time as Cezanne and Rembrandt, Carlyle in England stated that the fine arts had got into an insane condition and walk abroad without keepers, nobody suspecting their bad state and do fantastic tricks. You can see that the ambiguity of modern art has a longer history than one usually suspects. In this connection it is interesting to note that the main charged directed against Voznesenski in Russia by the bureaucracy is that his poems mean more than they say. What I do not understand is dangerous for the state says the provincial official in a 19th century Russian satire by Saltykov. The modern critic Nazarenko whom I've already quoted protests that when Voznesenski writes about oppressed negros in America he is actually speaking about the fate of poets in Russia. We are negros, we are poets read one of Voznesenski's lines. An 84-year-old Nikolai Aseev rather disingenuously took up the defense of Voznesenski in literally gazette. This critic should remember that poet think in images not for the sake of camouflage but because they are poets. Voznesenski has the last word in one of his poems significantly entitled who are you, I am among avalanches like the abominable snowman absolutely elusive. In the same fashion art is alive says Picasso that makes us realize truth. Irrationality who language is ambiguity may well be the safest of all disguises for the modern artist. The mask of persona that permits him the greatest freedom of expression with a certain degree of immunity so there is a danger to be sure that the mask may eventually (inaudible 0:33:54) the face. I think there is (inaudible 0:33:56) in this connection. Seeming that goes on for a lifetime is no different from reality wrote Yates who knew a thing or two about masks. Naturally it is important to discriminate between true masks and false masks, as Yates tried to do. Dail's recent (inaudible 0:34:17) his bulletism in which he sprays a canvass with paint shots from an old musket might be dismissed as a sheer exhibitionism. On the other hand Jackson Pollack's drip technique was his furious obsessional response to the sacred disorder of the space time continuum as he experienced it. Without a law of probability a principal of uncertainty a conviction about organic rhythm this are could not possibly have been conceived. I do not believe that desperation is to be regarded as contemptible or that the will of the artist to create vital forms must exclude the accidental. For years as how Rosenberg reminds us in a recent New Yorker article, it was customary for (deconing 0:35:04) to speak of the artist as desperate. At the time the man does not have a steady gaze on a fixed reality then reality as such is atomized and when the psyche separated from society split between thought and feeling no longer appears to be a coherent entity. Poetry inevitably tends to become increasingly aware of itself to turn inward. The medium becomes the subject the flow of the poem is equated with the flow of the mind. The association of the flow. But poetry is in the process. Perhaps the most important word for us to understand if we are to comprehend any of the modern arts is that word process. The opposite of the word process is the word thing. Most persons tend to believe that a work of art is a thing but not even and original thing, since the expected to be a copy of a reality that existed prior to the word. As though what we get in art were not reality Itself but a shadow of reality. It is because of this misconception that people insist on asking of a painting what does it represent or of a poem, what is it about, those questions reduce art to a secondary level. Let me propose a counter question what is your image of the ocean is it of a giant cup or basin filled with so many billion gallon of saline H2O that is a thing. Or do you see the ocean as perpetually ebbing and flowing, ever changing, the salt plum (inaudible 0:37:03) sea. If so, you are involved with a notion of process. A poem is not about something that has already happened. The words of a poem constitute the act itself. Every work of art indeed is happening. What is the subject of a the poem, any poem? Poetry is the subject of the poem wrote Wallace Stevens in the Man With Blue Guitar, poetry is the subject of the poem. From this the poem issues and to this returns. Between the two, between issue and return there is an absence in reality things as they are or so we say but are these separate is it an absence for the poem which acquires its true appearances there suns green, clouds red, earth feeling, sky that thinks from these it takes perhaps it gives in the universal intercourse. I think that I understand those lines, however there is a difficulty in the notion that any work of art is its own subject, the difficulty is that the phrasing takes no note of the indispensable encounter between the artist and his medium. After all he must do something. Perhaps that is why Franz Klein made his typically wry comment, the subject has become the problem. You can say painting is the subject but you just can't standby with shelf full of paint cans. And just as Stevens tells us that the poem gives in the universal intercourse, I recall Franz saying as he did to others on different occasions. Art has nothing to do with knowing, it has to do with giving. Wordsworth in a famous poem describes an event that has already occurred, I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high of ails and hills when all at once I saw a crowd a host of golden daffodils besides the lake, beneath the trees fluttering and dancing in the breeze. In contrast a contemporary American poet Theodore Roethke creates the event itself, terribly instantaneously alive, breathing with his own original energy in his short poem Cuttings, a poem of process if there ever was one. This urge wrestled resurrection of dry sticks, cut stems, struggling to put down feet, what saints drained so much rose on such (inaudible 0:40:13) to new life. I can hear on the ground that sucking and sobbing, in my veins in my bones I feel the small water seeping upward, the tight grains parting at last, when sprouts break out slippery as fish. I quail lean to beginnings (inaudible 0:40:38). Archibald MacLeish concluded his poem (inaudible 0:40:45) with a curiously self contradictory declaration, a poem should not mean but be. He might even more accurately have written a poem should become not be. One of characteristic postures of the modern poet is the contemplation not of his own naval but of his own mind at work. An idea cannot be fixed wrote (inaudible 0:41:10), the only thing that can be fixed if anything can be is something that is not an idea, he is going to see a test remarks I'm existing and seeing myself, seeing myself, seeing myself, and so on. The work modifies the author as a woman modifies herself in front a mirror. I think of those women and the paintings of (inaudible 0:41:33) who sit in front of the window that is also a mirror and also a picture on a wall. How can you tell the inside from the outside the reality from its reflection. Yates had asked the question before, how can we know the dancer from the dance. One of the corollaries of the breakdown of the subject-object relationship is the abandonment of the distinction between form and content. In a letter to (inaudible 0:42:04) Valerie wrote what they called the content is only impure that is to say muddled form. What is pure art according to the modern conception as Baudelaire prophetically in an unfinished essay? It is to create a suggestive magic containing at one and the same time the object and the subject the external world and the artist himself. To perpetuate any kind of truth about human experience is ultimately to be on the side of the order. But the concept of order is among the things that change. Consider for example, how lunatic the flow of traffic in our street would seem to our pre-automotive ancestors. We ourselves would be inclined to through a fit every time they cross the street, if we did not believe the mobility we have gained through the invention of the automobile is worth the risk we take without pedestrian lives. The disorder becomes tolerable because it fits into the order of our 20th century values. As J. Bronowski remarks in his paper on science and human values oh that must be discovered and in a deep sense it must be created what we see as we see it is mere disorder. When Picasso first painted a picture rich in his ambiguities of time, space and position the scene and the implicit observer of the scene being everywhere or nowhere at once he was not representing the theory of relativity anymore than he was copying nature, but he was asking the same kind of question about the nature of reality as did Einstein. The word event has a peculiar vibration and the vocabulary of contemporary physics. For it is tends to mount to a definition of reality. It is not the particle of matter or point in space or instant time that would something happens, but as physical reality but only the event itself. The event embedded in this four dimensional continuum. Einstein was born into a world of substances he died in a world of events. The recent effort on the part of some artist the so called pop artist to restore a world of themes by a tidy arrangement of the science and artifacts of our mass culture seems to me an essentially frivolous enterprise but not quite funny enough. The important challenge to the artist still remains the conversion of existential feeling into unique gesture. A modern painting often looks like a scarred battleground in which there is as much evidence of destruction as of creation. The corrections, the rejections, the mistakes are becoming corporate into the final work. It is as though the artist were intent on showing us his handiwork as a confession of his desperate, fallible but yet undaunted presence. Behind this esthetic, lurks the ghost of the Dada movement, which against the background of the Russian Revolution and at the time of the breaking of nations had borrowed from the revolutionary (inaudible 0:45:22) and the slogan destruction is also creation. Thought the Dada's loved nothing more than the creative scandal their purpose was serious the art that they rejected was an art they despised as a safety valve for the convenience of the middle classes. They were against all systems that stultified human spontaneity. If they did nothing else they demonstrated the creative power of unreason and violence, how they could be used for the sake of man instead of against him. Their cult of spontaneity is still very much with us and all the arts since Marcel Duchamp painted the moustache on the Mona Lisa have moved in the direction of anti-art. When I'm teaching the craft of poetry I make a nuisance of myself taking about order, for the good reason that order is teachable, but in my bones I know that only the disturbed spirits in my class those who recognize the disorder without and within, I don't necessarily mean the neurotics have a chance to become poets for only they are capable of producing a language, galvanic with the contradictions of the actual. Yates taught us that out of our quarrel with others we make rhetoric, with ourselves poetry. Different quarrels make different kinds of poems and our quarrels today are quite different from those that will say of the 18th century. The kind of poet who we get is not so much what the age demands, our age demands nothing from the artist but his submission is what it deserves and sometimes better than it deserves. The more man achieves, the more aware he becomes of his limitation, including the limitations of his senses, the human eye for example is sensitive only to the narrow band of radiation that falls between the red and violet. Most of the lights of the world are suppressed. For these missing lights we must substitute the light of the imagination. The prison house said Plato long ago is the world of sight. The danger of flying from the world of sight from the world of particularity, Mondrian said we must destroy the particular in order to reveal as far as possible the universal aspect of life, the danger inherent in this flight is that so much of the intimacy and warmth and love that we experience in here in particulars and perhaps that is why good part of contemporary painting much as I love the best of it seems to me desolate and cold, no matter how the paint boils on the canvass. I would agree with those who say that the hope of the artist lies in the affirmation of the world of values, first of all the value of his own existence in the midst of this random and absurd universe we inhabit but the affirmation must not be too glib or too cheaply one, it must rise out of the wrestling with all that denies it to the very point of negation. In the sunset of revolution (inaudible 0:48:43) men submit to slavery rather than feel the terror of facing single-handed in their presence the ferocious assaults of existence. That order is great as then which holds in suspension the most disordered, holds it in such precarious balance that each instance threatens its overthrow. In life and in art I borrow this phrase that follows from a great theologian the self affirmation of a being is stronger the more non being it can take into itself. Where else but in the free country of art is it possible to tell the whole unmitigated truth about the human condition. I do not think it is admirable to live by paint, for paint, in paint or by words, for words, in words. In the best literature and art of our time but only the best one is aware of a moral pressure being exerted on the medium in the very act of creation. By mural which is a much misunderstood term I mean a testing of existence at its highest pitch, what does it feel like to be totally oneself, an awareness of others beyond the self a concern with values and meanings rather than with effects an effort to tap the spontaneity that hides in the depths rather than what forms on the surface. A conviction about the possibility of making right wrong choices even symbolic choices and given this possibility the urge and necessity for making the right choices. Lacking this pressure we are left with nothing but a vacuum occupied by a technique. The predicament that faces every artist is predicament of conscience, an art that risks nothing in terms of the human spirit is worth nothing. All failure are pardonable except failure of conscience. May I say in conclusion that I realize my audacity call it nerve and attempting to assault the impregnable twin fortresses of art and reality at all. Let alone to presume that the campaign could be organized to fit within the logistics of an hour. My justification must be that at bottom I know how inadequate is my knowledge of the matters I've dared to have discussed. One of the best minds of the century Bertrand Russell, one of the bravest too recalls in an essay that the end of a neat lecture on logic that he gave as seedy little man walked up to the platform and handed him a sheet of paper bearing on both sides the words the statement on the other side of the paper is untrue. A maddening proposition, perhaps I'm only passing on to you that same sheet of paper. Since I said I don't know Russian I don't feel that its like (inaudible 0:51:56) in terms of its sound or in the way its made, perhaps in its extraordinary vitality yes, but not in its diction I'd say or in the way it turns. Its quite a different kind of poem. (Informal Talk) Well not in public. (Informal Talk) Alright. Well I think that we've been here a long time, there have been a lot of language presented maybe we will forego that. Well I thought that what I was talking about, I don't think it is necessarily pessimistic, I think on the contrary its being terribly honest in the confrontation of experience. And acknowledging what one feels, what one fears, and how little one knows. Well you remember later I quoted (inaudible 0:53:40) and destruction is also creation. Oh, it goes all the way back to Plato, I don't claim any originality for that. If there are no further questions I think we can all go home.
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