Tuesday, November 12, 2013

on Jorge Luis Borges and Victor Jara, or art and evil

Sydney Padua, whose Lovelace and Babbage delights me, tweeted:
'Arguments convince nobody. But a hint, a suggestion, receives a kind of hospitality of the mind.' Borges on poetry http://www.openculture.com/2012/05/jorge_luis_borges_1967-8_norton_lectures_on_poetry_and_everything_else_literary.html
 I want to agree. I've advanced that idea in the past.

But it's Borges.

Who I loved as a teenager.

And then learned that he reviled the elected government of Juan Peron and praised Pinochet's coup. Clive James has a damning statement in Borges' bad politics:
There was a torture center within walking distance of his house, and he had always been a great walker. He could still hear, even if he couldn't see. There was a lot of private talk that must have been hard to miss; a cocked ear would have heard the screams.
Pinochet's people tortured and killed a great poet-musician, Victor Jara, a man who sang of peace, justice, and love.

And so I'm skeptical of people who call for hints and suggestions rather than revolution.

Also: Arlo Guthrie/Victor Jara - YouTube