Friday, April 29, 2016

Can Art Trump Politics?

Written on November 13, 2013, long before anyone could imagine Donald Trump being a serious candidate for anything, the title caught my eye while I was looking for this week's post from the archives.  I wish I could make some connection between Mr. Trump and art and creativity and adoration, but I can't.  

As to these Archival Editions in general, Big Cuter wondered if I was having trouble keeping up with the daily grind.  Little Cuter admitted to skipping them - "I've read them already" - except, she says, when they are about her grandfather.  "I LOVE the Daddooooo posts."  I am enjoying re-reading and editing and remembering, here with one that might satisfy my little girl.

JES commented on my encounter with Mark Helprin, my favorite living novelist, thusly:
I loved Winter's Tale, inordinately.

Some years later, though, I came across something Mark Helprin had written..... it was shockingly, hideously uncharitable -- illiberal in the worst sense. 
I was so disappointed I never read anything else he'd written.
JES and I rarely disagree.  We don't, really, on this issue, either.  Yes, my favorite living novelist does harbor opinions which make my blood boil.  I don't read those pieces, just as I know that I'll never go to hear him speak again.  He was, I'm sorry to report, almost boring.  I enjoyed the stories and asides he told, when he was conversing instead of declaiming, but his speechifying left a great deal to be desired.

I've done the same thing with his politics.  I had to.  I loved the novels too much to deprive myself of the pleasure they brought. Why should his beliefs impinge on my joy?  There's a sense of moral outrage underlying all his work; I don't have to agree with his slant on the issues to feel the pain he's sharing, no matter the genesis of his angst.

G'ma had the same issue. As always, I'm going to school on her example.  She had a thing for Errol Flynn.

Daddooooo knew that if Captain Blood rang their bell, he was to leave while G'ma got naked.  That was a hard image to swallow (apologies to her grandchildren who may now have an unfortunate image indelibly imprinted on their brains) .... or would have had it not sent us all into paroxysm of laughter every time we heard one or the other of them begin the story... letting the other finish.
These were people who lost grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles to the Nazi's. Errol Flynn's sympathies were acknowledged but pushed aside because his work was too wonderful to be ignored.  He made my parents smile.  For that, alone, I'd forgive him much more than unfortunate political leanings.

I never read Ezra Pound, because his politics made him an untenable subject for college students in the 1970's.  That's a gap in my education that will, in all likelihood, remain unfilled.  I won't tackle it on my own and, in nearly forty years of perusing adult education offerings I have never seen his name on a syllabus.

Is it a loss?  It seems I'll never know. Seems that JES is hung up on  the same thing, and might just have come around to G'ma's way of thinking.  He ends his comment with this:
 I probably should just stop nurturing philosophical grudges (a practice illiberal in its own regard). 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!