Thursday, September 17, 2009

Berlusconi and a Blurb

A heads-up to historians out there wanting to get ahead of the game:

"I sincerely believe I am by far the best prime minister Italy has had in its 150 year history (since unification in 1861)," Berlusconi said in televised news conference in Sardinia with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
(Unrelated) blurb:
"A tailor at work resembles the poet cutting, trimming, and stitching his verse. The needle is the sudden penetration of insight, while the flexible thread, assuring continuity and shape, is dragged in the rear as a secondary process. The result is “my misshapen son”: Art-making by men is an appropriation of female fertility. The end product, like Frankenstein’s “monster” with his stitched-up face, may seem ugly or distorted (in an avant-garde era). But the artwork is the artist’s true posterity, a child of the intellect rather than the body—a distinction made by Plato. "
- Camille Paglia
Thanks to Foreign Policy Passport blog for photo


  1. Re Berlusconi: a gentleman would know that you cannot judge on your own case.

    Re Camille Paglia: I’m so glad I read the whole article in order to understand your brief excerpts. I was on the attack from the start, imagining her as some feminist virago, but was amazed by the power of her negative judgements, giving reasons for rejection of so many poems when compiling her anthology. From her rejections, any writer---I, anyhow---can extract enough criticism to apply to my own work, as if she had marked my school essays. (I don’t write poetry, but my prose clumsily aspires to poetic qualities.) And in her rejections I discover what makes me despair of poetry, especially the modern kind, in which the easy reads are trash and the difficult reads so often disappoint me. I end up wanting to buy her book, and admire her cunning in making me want to do that.

  2. Thanks for the comment- I know just what you mean regarding Paglia's clarity in weighing (and in the context you reference, rejecting) ideas, and works. Similar to the 'double-take' you did as far as the excerpt - she is masterful at setting up ones expectations of what you will get from her, and then subverting them. "Liberal feminist lesbian professor" are the categories you are dealt with her, but her clear voice and playfulness, earthiness and common sense transcend those categories. She chases complexity but doesn't let that be an excuse to see herself as better than the guy on the street - and that comes through her writing, i think.