Thursday 17 July 2008

Imagists Fall Out

A great entry today on this website, which I hadn't stumbled on before. I'll be back.


  1. This is very funny. I live a block away from the house Ezra lived in when he was a teenager (before starting at Univ. of Penn at about age 16), so I often think of him when I walk past it. He was a brilliant poet -- the cantos, it goes without saying, but especially those incredible haiku:

    "The apparition of these faces in the crowd; petals on a wet black bough."

    Too bad he turned into such an anti-Semite (which is why his house is not a historical monument in my neighborhood; you simply have to know the address -- it lacks a plaque) and Nazi enthusiast.

    But, then, from what I'm reading on other blogs, that is a problem even now among British intellectuals. I am stunned to read that, but if you go to Petrona you will see a long thread about it between Philip Amos and Nature editor Henry Gee. In America, if you invoke the word "intellectual," it goes without saying that 80% of the people who fall into that category ARE Jewish. It's one thing to find Israel belligerent, quite another to be anti-Semitic.

    What's going on Nigel? A man as calm and open-minded as you must have a perspective on this.

  2. O dear, Susan - I don't think antisemitism ever goes away, it just changes shape. The present shape is (pseudo)intellectually justified as anti-Zionist/Israeli, therefore Lefist, therefore respectable. Mind you, it's nothing on the commonplace Arab version, which is pure regurgitated Nazi. A sorry business.

  3. I do wonder about antisemitism and whether it is as bad today as say the nineteenth century when it seems to have been endemic. The problem today of course is that the means of delivery is more efficient so distorting our reaction to the problem. That it exists is beyond doubt, if only in the form of the "not another Jew" comments we do hear now and again. I was surprised at the extent of it in Germany, after a visit to the Jewish Museum in Berlin and seeing the incredible security in place there. I would hope this was just because of the loony right.
    The British Labour party of course has in the past been pro Arab and therefore not inclined to to take a balanced view (Harold Wilson stopped the supply of tank spares to Israel's army at a crucial time)
    I have just finished reading Bird and Sherwins biography of Oppenheimer and there is a fairly common thread of antisemitism in America running through it, Hoover in particular, but I guess that he hated everybody. Personally I cannot say I have been in contact with it much and the Jewish people that I have known have been philosophical about the whole thing.
    Of course if the Jewish people did not exist and it was say bright pink turtles who were the talented and highly successfull minority, they would be the ones to feel the wrath of jealousy.
    That I suspect is the root cause, jealousy and as it is an immovable human condition, anti whoever is here until the end of time.

  4. Can there be, do you think, an end of time, I once dropped my watch down a crevasse, much to my amazement 9.30 that evening came around again, regular as clockwork. Bin that theory then, what might happen?, tear up your railway timetables, no more missed appointments, how can Gordon claim that he saved us in time if there is no time. What will Nigecorp do with that row of international time clocks on the office wall, How would elberry clock in to his typing up of nutter fixing data. Night would still follow day, wouldn't it? So, Albert, you really were a prat. Spike had the answer, he wrote down the time on a piece of paper.
    I forgot to add, I was attached to the watch.
    What started this rant was listening to the bell like tone of Emma Kirkby singing Salve Regina and me thinking "not another sodding Bach Cantata, where did he find the time to write them all".