I keep going over this. The compartmentalization of literary conversations and politics... I was tempted to write: ...and matters of consequence.
Not that I believe for a second that literature and the arts are not in themselves, consequential--even primary to politics. But they cannot be so as Mandarin pursuits apart from the messy realities of power and its relations to everyday life.
I'm not a political person. My drive is more toward tending my garden. But I don't see any escape from that most basic choice: either let others wield power for us, or become a part of the process--to attempt, as best we can, to actualize the ideal of "governance by the consent of the governed." And do it ourselves.
And so I go out and knock on doors. I take a stand. I try to understand--not only the "issues," so called, but what shapes them.
For that, I search in my reading, and as I write, for understanding.
I would like to see in Sunday Salon posts, more connection made between what we read, and how the world works. Is literature nothing more than a diversion from the blood bath of history?
Whatever we choose to read or to write, you can be sure it will be used by those who wield power. With or without our consent, complicit or otherwise.
We are none of us innocent.
An impossible choice, to be sure--between independence of thought and creative endeavor, and resistance or usurpation by one or another crippling ideological camp But the impossible is exactly what is needed. What has always been needed. And what, defeat after defeat... has lifted us above the "is" to something closer to what we might become.