Saturday, August 6, 2016

Human textuality, 2016

 I'm most at home with writers
 who are entirely inclined to
 be known as having fashioned
 the text I read of theirs. I
 don't know how prevalent they
 are, but I know them when I
 run into them. Alexander Pope
 strikes one as the epitome,
 doesn't he, of this commit-
 ment? A modest legacy of the
 Renaissance. To be known by
 one's texts is a risk, on the
 other hand, which few men do
 entertain, and until the im-
 mediate present, has been an
 endangerment to women. This
 gives rise to a prejudice, 
 almost, against going so far.
 Fashion is generous that way,
 but at an interesting price.
 It is not in season, just now.

 This is a season of being
 known atextually - and yet,
 however, as literarily as
 any couplet in Pope. We know
 them in our living past, in
 upheavals recurringly knock-
 ing at the door of one's own
 birthright. Again, this is a
 season of confession, beyond
 recent precedent but surely,
 standing on its shoulders. In
 this face, captured at a rally
 in Ashburn, Virginia this week,
 one doesn't see an aspiration
 to be known as the inventor of
 the text, but as its epigone.

 Tiresome as it may be, for the
 third time in seven days to say,
 this is the image of this year's
 upheaval, and it is impossible
 to dismiss it as illegitimate.
 I read it, you read it, and be-
 yond question, it is plain. This
 man needs to be answered, with-
 out the degenerate reflexes of
 a mind undisposed to read him.
 How much more, shall I respect

Maxim Steklyanov

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