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Tuesday, April 27, 2004

more on NEA and Gioia 

Gioia comes across as such a stick, doesn't he? "others may provide
vivid accounts of historical events that rise to the occasion of
literature" - goodness.
I didn't realize it was for the troops after they get back, not while
they're over there. That's disturbing. They should be writing NOW,
like Owen did in the trenches, before the mist of panegyric and
flagwaving hits them when they return. I can't help but think of
Siegfried Sassoon, too, who was one of the first officers to officially
object to WWI, and he did it in a letter written straight from the
trenches in France. They brought him back, but didn't want to
courtmartial him right away, and instead had him put into an
institution and diagnosed with shell shock. He went back and kept
fighting. But he didn't stop writing the truth. Have you ever read
Pat Barker's _Regeneration_? Amazing book about that whole thing.

And HAH - the NEA doesn't make decisions based on content - give me a break,
didn't they get taken to court by Finley et al. over a
decade ago, to be FORCED to not take content into account? (I read
Finley's collected works last month after she came through town,
revisited all of that controversy, so it's fresh in my mind).

Anyway, thanks for sending that.

- JES



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