October 06, 2007

Most mesmerized by "A Collective Letter to the Women's Movement, July 24, 1973" in the collection of communiques from the Weather Underground in Sing a Battle Song. Also the part of the Jeff Jones introduction where he talks about how the environmental movement was not part of the Weather Underground: "From where we stood in 1970, the environmental movement was bourgeois, irrelevant, and white, a distraction from the more real and urgent tasks at hand: ending the war in Vietnam and fighting racism. But we were appalled at the US military's use of the defoliant Agent Orange (dioxin) in Vietnam and came to understand how it poisoned not only the Vietnamese but also American GI's who were fighting in the contaminated areas. We did not see the centrality of the environmental consequences of rapacious American imperialism, or the potential of the environmental movement, even as it was growing--like the women's and queer liberation movements--out of the oppositional 1960s." (p. 48-49). The "A Collective Letter to the Women's Movement" also has confession in it: "We keep examining the reinterpreting the period 1969-1970 both because it was so decisive in each of our lives and because it is our image at that time which is stamped on people's memories. We have reread all our old leaflets and articles about women recently, some of it stands, some doesn't. Three years ago, we denied the legitimacy of white women's demands. Although we had been assaulted, underpaid, brainwashed, aborted, raped like women everywhere, we--and the left as a whole--did not recognize that women's demands for power over their own lives is fundamental to any revolution we would care to make." (p. 200). Something about the ability to rethink into new dogmatisms that is moving?

Our Band Could be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991. Michael Azerrad. Very big nostalgia trip. Although don't remember it as a series of oedipal moments. And don't remember the sense of rules within that had to be rebelled against.

Laura Moriarty An Air Force. Somewhat a memoir. I tell everyone who comes over this weekend that they have to read it.

And also that my new favorite poet right now today at this one moment is Aime Cesaire. For the word "hoo"--"I cry Hoo to you!"; for !--they are throughout!; for invocation--"O my earth!"; for hyphens that gather:"a-wounded-open-hand." All these examples from "A Salute to the Third World / for Leopold Sedar Senghor." Rereading also "Notebook of a Return to a Native Land" which is long time favorite. All from the U of Kalifornia P Collected.

One blurb every other month or so:
Since his first book in 1999, Truong Tran has been skillfully walking a delicate tightrope between the lyrical and innovative. His work is distinctive for how attentive it is to the politics of language and yet how skillfully he wields richness and beauty. Four Letter Words continues this investigation as it delves into the many ways one is shaped as a writer, as a human being.

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