Monday, December 20, 2004

Impact Press

Especially noted: The other election story: The demise of a third party presence in the U.S.. They also have a music section. (Thanks, Alfredo)

Update: Also, from Australia, Jacket Magazine certainly has some decent writing. Quickly getting out of hand over here. Well, roll with it. Struck by the following whilst (whilst!) grazing the new additions of Rexroth at the Bureau of Public Secrets site:
It sounds glib to say that Baudelaire embodies within himself the “contradictions of capitalism,” as though he was a sort of ambulatory Falling Rate of Profit. Perhaps it can all be traced back to economics, but the tragedy of the modern world, the metaphysical horror, the Social Lie, the World Ill, these are catch phrases masking total moral breakdown, the alienation of man from his work, from his fellows, and from himself. Organized society in our epoch simply has nothing good about it. It is deadly fraud from start to finish. We are so used to it that we forget, or we never face, what writers like Veblen, or Riesman, or Wright Mills mean in actual human terms.

Baudelaire or Céline face the monster all the time. They can never forget for an instant. The horrors of a world where man is wolf to man struggle all through every moment in the very bloodstream, like leukemia.

Does this mean that, as the Marxists used to say, all great writers of the past two centuries have been revolutionaries, conscious or unconscious? Certainly not. Such a notion only reveals the lack of what the Russians, in signs warning you not to spit in the subway, call “culture.” Léon Blum had a career and a program; Céline had a life and a work of art. Leon Trotsky said that, long ago, in the best thing he ever wrote. In the final showdown, all our revolutions have turned out to be careers for some and programs for others. The stuff of life, of art, is not only vaster far than all programs and careers, it is the material of a different qualitative world altogether.

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