I can’t remember what it was that I wanted to add to the last blog. Perhaps why identity is an issue in the first place?? That seems highly uninteresting though.. hmm. It’s worth asking anyway. Basically, I’m not sure exactly why it became necessary to remove the artist from the production of the work. I assume some of it has to do with the popular conception of the artist somehow expressing his/ her woes through art. It is really highly offensive to suggest that a piece of art really ‘expresses’ anything. If it does then it is bound to be rather poor. One always needs some amount of distance to do any piece of art. Art is not necessarily representation (as Mr. Warhol taught us it is also reproduction), but does work with symbols. Now it would be rather absurd to say that the ‘symbols’ actually had a corollary in the ‘real world’ (absurd but not unheard of); symbols are, the world.. that is to say that they exist not in relation to things but in relation to themselves and context etc. Thus art is a manipulation of symbols, when art becomes expressive, that is when someone creates with the intention of expressing what is after all, symbolic, the result is almost always poor.. I realize this is a silly argument, I’m just entertaining ideas. In fact I understand the phenomenon differently. To create simply requires a psychological distance otherwise the piece becomes overcharges with mass generalizations. Such is the result of most teenage art and writing, as well as Harold Pinter’s poetry. (Sadly, even intelligent artists think of poetry as this odd empty vessel into which the excrement of their ‘emotions’ can be dumped.). Er. Yes, so, this may be one reason. The other may be partly psychological. Most people have come to understand that the self is a unity of convenience, that is, “I” is a multiplicity. “I” is another as Rimbaud said. Taking the “I” out a work presumably allows the other into it. I’m not sure to what extent the above psychological conditions link to sociological conditions -- i.e. these are post-modern, fragmented times, fragmented by capitalistic schizophrenic pluralism – for artists. This seems to me always a half-truth and an approach only beleaguered Marxists would take. Capitalism thrives, it is true, through the appearance of unity to cover its monstrous chaos, a chaos that could lead us to believe that the ‘I’ is even more fragmented. I think in this respect capitalism is not new. Every ‘order’ is the semblance of unity. The difference is that now the chaos is on a global scale.. Where writers especially, are falling short these days, incidentally, is the failure to recognize internationalism. Though not a writer, I was quite amused at a PhD. Student’s resume that stated something along the lines of :”Because my university is near to the Canadian border, I am also aware of Canadian poetries, such as Steve McCaffery and Christian Bok.” Whooo! I guess it’s thinking like this that earns a 4 GPA!

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