Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thomas Wolfe Said...

Are we mistaken in assuming that the whole vocabulary of abuse which is exhausted every week in the journals of our red and pink-complexioned comrades - the sneers against a man's talent, the bitter denials that his work has any substance, sincerity, truth, or reality whatever - is really what it seems to be? No doubt we are mistaken. It would be more charitable to believe that these pure spirits of the present day are what they say they are - collective, selfless, consecrated - and that the words they use do not mean what they seem to mean, and do not betray the romantic and deluded passions that seem to animate them, but are really words used coldly, without passion, for the purposes of collective propaganda - in operations completely surgical, whereby the language of the present day, with all its overtones of superstition, prejudice, and false knowledge, is employed clinically, scientifically, simply to further the Idea of the Future State!

No more, no more! Of what avail to crush these vermin beneath our heavy boot? The locusts have no king, and the lice will multiply forever. The poet must be born, and live, and sweat, and suffer, and change, and grow, yet somehow maintain the changeless selfhood of his soul's integrity among all the crawling fashions of this world of lice. The poet lives, and dies, and is immortal; but the eternal trifler of all complexions never dies. The eternal trifler comes and goes, sucks blood of living men, is filled and emptied with the surfeit of each changing fashion. He gorges and disgorges, and is never fed. There is no nurture in him, and he draws no nurture from the food he feeds on. There is no heart, no soul, no blood, no living faith in him: the eternal trifler simply swallows and remains.

And we? Made of our father's earth, blood of his blood, bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh - born like our father here to live and strive, here to win through or be defeated - here, like all the other men who went before us, not too nice or dainty for the uses of this earth - here to live, to suffer, and to die - O brothers, like our fathers in their time, we are burning, burning, burning in the night.

Thomas Wolfe
('You Can't Go Home Again' published in 1934)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes! Godard for me resonates with film-making passion that begins in his political brain but expands beyond politics into infinite universal possibilities that rattle, erupt, provoke and demand one not to be a puppet that follows within the boundaries of acceptance, but to find one's true voice (Not the imitators or sheep's voice.) by any means (and he means any means!). In other words, no limitations and no excuses! -avisualfeel