[lit-ideas] Re: American poetic scene at the beginning of 72

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2006 13:27:22 -0400

Lawrence, the world is flat.  If you can't see something over the horizon, it 
isn't there, right?  I know Berryman's bio.  I said on this list months ago 
that his mother allegedly killed his father and/or his father committed 
suicide.  I don't know what your biographers said about his letters, but it's a 
no brainer that one's father being killed in one fashion or another is going to 
have a lasting impact on a child, especially when that child eventually kills 
himself too.  Most biographers today do concern themselves with childhoods 
because that's where a person is formed.  Then they go on into the nitty gritty 
of daily life. They don't always connect the dots for the reader, and if they 
don't connect the dots, therefore there is no connection, right?  As far as 
laughing, people laugh at just about anything.  They laughed at the discovery 
of air, of bacteria, of the earth going around the sun, you name it.  If it 
couldn't be seen, they laughed at it.  

If you think drinking is so much fun you'll have to explain why Berryman killed 
himself if he was having so much fun drinking.  He killed himself after he was 
sober.  Therefore, whatever the alcohol was numbing hurt enough that he didn't 
want it anymore.  Why didn't he just start drinking again and have more fun, 
summon his muse, find another relationship. The man killed himself Lawrence.  
To see no reason for that is to see nothing at all.  Denying the unconscious is 
like looking at the ocean and imagining that the surface is all there is.  I'll 
take my bland life of looking beneath the waves any day.

This is kind of like the discussions we had for months about Iraq.  There's no 
point in talking to you.  Write me back and tell me the unconscious is for 
wimps or it defies free will or it's anti-American or whatever is your stock 
line is.  BTW, regarding the one size fits all, if that weren't the case, 
medicine, including psychology, would be impossible.  

BTW, if you (all) thought drinking enabled you to write better, did you ever 
read after you were sober what you wrote when you were drunk?  I'll bet you 
thought it was inspired.  I'll bet Mel Gibson can relate to that.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Lawrence Helm 
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: 10/11/2006 11:21:42 AM 
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: American poetic scene at the beginning of 72


I told you why Berryman drank based upon the two biographies I read.  They were 
written by people who had access to information that none of the rest of us on 
Lit-Ideas has -- at least that?s what I thought.   But you in effect declare 
those biographers wrong and make your own pronouncement.  Tell me please that 
you have all Berryman?s secret letters, and if not that you were one of 
Berryman?s secret lovers.  

Assuming just for the sake of discussion that you haven?t the foggiest 
justification for what you are talking about, perhaps you weren?t aware that it 
was commonly believed among poets, painters, and novelists that drinking 
enhanced one?s talent.  One could more readily reach one?s muse under the 
influence.  In the early days of my poetic considerations I was taught that 
very thing and tried it out.  I have fri3nds who assumed it true.  I lost touch 
with them because they pursued their muses more enthusiastically than I did and 
lost their jobs.  I discovered that I was an aberration, that is, I could write 
better sober.  But none of drank to ?numb his pain.?  We would have laughed at 
such an idea.  Drinking was fun and it enabled one to write better.  That?s why 
we drank.    

But now there is Irene?s ?one-size-fits-all? reason for why anyone drinks.  
Gosh, what a bland world you live in.


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