Spending next week on these four things:
Rosmarie Waldrop, "Alarms & Excursions"
Bertolt Brecht, "Writing the Truth: Five Difficulties"
Theodor Adorno, "Commitment"
Alan Badiou, "Fifteen Theses on Contemporary Art"
All from Brecht:
The writer thinks: I have spoken and those who wish to hear will hear me. In reality he has spoken and those who are able to pay hear him.
In our times anyone who says population in place of people or race, and privately owned land in place of soil, is by that simple act withdrawing his support from a great many lies. He is taking away from these words their rotten, mystical implications. The word people (Volk) implies a certain unity and certain common interests; it should therefor be used only when we are speaking of a number of peoples, for then alone is anything like community of interest conceivable. The population of a given territory may have a good many different and even opposed interests—and this is a truth that is being suppressed. In like manner, whoever speaks of soil and describes vividly the effect of plowed fields upon nose and eyes, stressing the smell and the color of earth, is supporting the rulers’ lies. For the fertility of the soil is not the question, nor men’s love for the soil, nor their industry in working it; what is of prime importance is the price of grain and the price of labor. Those who extract profits from the soil are not the same people who extract grain from it, and the earthy smell of a turned furrow is unknown on the produce exchanges. The latter have another smell entirely. Privately owned land is the right expressing;it affords less opportunity for deception.
Anyone know story of "an Egyptian poet"?