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Translation of Eric Mottram's A Faithful Private - 1 with Commentary by T Wignesan

Translation of Eric Mottram’s A Faithful Private - 1 by T. Wignesan For Barry MacSweeney (GENERA editions by Colin Simms, issue 13 - Kent Winter-Spring 1974 - Ohio/London 1976, n.p.) A poet should have on his coffin not a wreath but a gun to show that he was a faithful private in the liberation struggles of humanity. Heinrich Heine “Un poète devrait avoir sur son cercueil pas une couronne mais un fusil pour démontrer qu’il fut un fantassin loyal dans les luttes pour la libération de l’humanité.” HH Un fantassin loyal - 1 du fait d’être effrayé ce n’est pas quelque chose dont nous n’avions pu être certains le passage du temps nous le dira qui tombèrent qui se trouvaient délaissés en arrière le front de l’orage étendant à deux cents milles vers l’est blanc derrière le gris les ciels du nord et du sud est-ce qu’un homme quiconque choisit ou quelqu’un parmi nous est choisi que le fait de l’écrire fasse une différence frère en liberté une espace de flamme entre nous se soulevant dans les Serpent Mounds des chansons sans paroles textes rites les mineurs montent comme des machines descendent pour rafraichir l'aire pour des mines d’humus où le soleil brille fort sans relâche et animé “who is this man from abroad to tell us we are part of disaster against the Freedom Trail he urges us not to be victim” à l’extérieur sur un arbre dénué des feuilles un cardinal ouvre au ciel balayé par le vent une pluie qui se jette à travers l’analyse à travers des tons engagés le détritus d’un siècle se réuni dans des chambres des côtes les rues affaissées se moquaient du Trail “we are not a moment of your insanity” Excerpts from an article, “From space to caves in the heart recreating the collective world in Eric Mottram’s poetry” by Clive Bush, Director of American Studies, King’s College, University of London in The Journal of Comparative Poietics, Vol. I, Nos. 2 & 3 (Paris), 1990/1991, pp. 55-56. Edited by T. Wignesan. “One of Mottram's most distinguished essays which is at least as important as Mailer’s essay “The White Negro” (1956) which to some extent it modifies and extends, is “Dionysus in America” (1976). The essay looks at Rock Culture in the United States (and by implication the rest of the world), drawing an exemplary contrast between Altamont and Woodstock. Distinguished musician as he is, Mottram questions the value of Rock in general, makes important exceptions, and relates his two examples to traditions, inside American culture in general. Following the resources of the myth, Dionysus is seen as a “major origin of the Devil in Christian mythology and is deeply associated with ecstatic rituals of change.”27 Its embodiment in Rock music was first seen, therefore, to be profoundly upsetting to those in authority: “White Citizen Council groups linked it with sin and communism, while the Soviet Union linked it with sin and capitalism.” (***) (…) The Dionysian break-through needs social context of viable revolution if it is not to diminish into mere rebelliousness, licensed orgy or ritual which re-energizes the reactionary and lethal status quo. (***) …Mottram also cites Nietsche to the effect that, “Dionysus deteriorated gives us “a mixture of sensuality and cruelty,” the sexuality of sado-masochistic power.” (***) …. Within this radically impoverished and controlled space, traditional American revivalist dramas are enacted (ecstasy, dissolving rationality, the promise of new community). (…) At one level, therefore, Rock is a permutation on all rituals of hypnotic ecstacy which need a constellation of angels, stars, gods who deliver “energy” to a passively-manipulated populace intended to “orbit in half helpless gravitation.” (***) (c) T. Wignesan - Paris, 2017

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