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An hour before the scene, where I am now, as well, as your chair, It was empty. And an hour later they become empty again. Most of the day, I suppose, Nobody's here; emptiness — normal state of the premises. Whether it is endowed with consciousness, it would have to regard our presence as an obstacle. And it's not worse, than anything else, It demonstrates the importance of what is happening, anyway, the importance of our meeting. Regardless of, that led us here, ratio is not in our favor. Although we can be satisfied with their number, in terms of space, this infinitesimal.
What is true, по-видимому, and in respect of any human gathering; but when it comes to poetry, come to mind-specific considerations. To begin with, poetry, her writing or reading, -disconnecting art, much less public, rather than music or painting. Besides poetry has a certain taste for the void, beginning, скажем, from infinity voids. But even more important, that in historical perspective ratio poetic audience and the rest of society is not in favor of the first. In this way, we should be happy with each other, not least because, that our presence here, for all its seeming insignificance, -continuation of the story, which, According to some rumors, reaching up to us, ended.
During that, what is called a documented history, poetic audience, it seems, I never exceed one per cent of the total population. This estimate is not based on any particular study,– only at the level of the intellectual state of the world, in which we live. В самом деле, the overall atmosphere is often a, that the above figure is even somewhat overstated. neither Greek, neither the Roman era, no glorious revival, no education not convince us, poetry collected enormous audiences, and certainly did not have reason to talk about some of the legions and armies of her readers.
They have never been plentiful. they, what we call the classics, They owe their reputation not contemporaries, and offspring. This does not mean, that the offspring — this is equivalent to a quantitative value. They only provide the classics, although in hindsight and with some stretch, readership, to which they shall be entitled to claim from the outset. In fact, real their circumstances were not so brilliant; they were looking for patrons flocked to the court or just, as today's poets nest in universities. undoubtedly, this was due to hope for generosity, but also fueled the audience and the search for. Literacy remains a privilege of the few, and where even the singer could count on a sympathetic ear or a close look to their lines? The citadel of power were often citadels of culture; dishes here were better, the company less gray and more kindly, than anywhere else, including monasteries.
Centuries have passed. The citadel of power and culture of the citadel broke, and, it seems, forever and ever. Of course, a payment for Democracy, for the power of the people, people, for the people, only one percent of which reads poetry. If there is a modern poet something in common with his Renaissance colleague, it is first of all a pathetic circulation of his writings. Depending on the temperament can be found pleasure in considering the archetypal aspects of the difficulties, be proud of yourself as a sacred tradition of the transfer agent or find solace in their, which had so many precedents fate of obedience. There is nothing more pleasant psychologically, than to associate himself with the glorious past, not least because, it is more understandable, than now, not to mention the future.
A poet can always find a way out of the impasse in words; eventually, it is his calling. And I'm not here, to talk about the difficulties of the poet, which the, if you look, never a victim of circumstance. I'm here to, to talk about audience participation, about your, so to speak, the fate of. Since this year I am on the payroll at the Library of Congress, that relate to their work in the manner of a public servant, and nothing else. That's why I care about poetry audience in this country; and official, sitting in me, finds the existing ratio of one percent monstrous, scandalous, not to say tragic. Neither my temperament, no injections authorial pride, caused insignificant circulations, nothing to do with.
The standard edition of the first and second books of any poet we fluctuates between two and ten thousand (I am only talking about the big publishing houses). In the last census, I have seen, recorded 250 million. United States population. Consequently, publishers, publishing of an author, his first or second book, counting only 0,001 per cent of the entire nation. I think it is absurd.
That for centuries stood in the way of familiarizing people to poetry, It is the lack of a printing press and a lack of literacy. Now, in the presence of both, the above relation does not justify. In fact, even if we stuck to one percent, It should not print from two to ten thousand, but two and a half million copies of each book. Is there a number of readers in the country? I suppose, what is, and even much more. how many, can be determined, of course, through market research, but just not to do so.
For demand study narrows his definition. Like any sociological fragmentation of population groups, classes and categories. All this suggests the existence of some common characteristics, inherent in a particular social group, prescribing a certain appeal to it. Which easily leads to restriction of the spiritual needs of the people, to their intellectual segregation. Regulars poetic market is considered to be people with a university education, on them focused publisher. It is believed, that blue-collar workers to what Horace and the farmer in overalls do not need Montale or Marvell. politics, for that matter, do not wait for knowledge by heart Gerard Manley Hopkins or Elizabeth Bishop.
In this I see a dangerous stupidity. But more on that later. Now I just want to note, that the proliferation of poetry can not be measured by market demand, as any of his study is not able to assess opportunities. When it comes to poetry, the end result of such a study, in spite of all his computers, known medieval. All of us are literate, and so each of us is a potential reader of poetry: this postulate must be based booksellers, rather than narrowed view on demand. For in cultural matters not demand creates supply, but on the contrary. You read Dante because, What he wrote “divine comedy”, not because, that you felt such a need: you would never have dreamed of this man or, nor his poem.
Poetry must be presented to the public in a much larger scale, than now. It should be as ubiquitous, as the nature surrounding us, in which the poet borrows his metaphors, and as needed, as a gas station, if you do not own cars. Bookstores should be open not only at universities or in the main streets, but also in the factory entrance. Paperback edition of the, whom we call classics, should be cheap and sold in supermarkets. Finally, we really live in a country of mass production, and why the, it is possible for cars, do and poetry collections, which will deliver you much more. Or much farther you to anything? Even so, but if it is true, it is because, that you do not have suitable vehicles, not because, the distances and destinations, which I interpret, does not exist.
Even a sympathetic hearing all this may seem a whim or quirk. But it is not so; there are good economic sense. Book of poetry editions 2,5 million copies and price, скажем, two dollars will be profitable, than ten thousand copies at a price 20 apiece. will face, of course, a storage problem, but, on the other hand, It needs to cover the entire country. Besides, if the government admits, that the library collection as important for your inner life, as a business lunch for foreign, tax incentives can be provided to the, who reads, пишет, publishes poetry. The loser, правда, will be the Brazilian rain forest. Впрочем, I hope, that the tree, choosing between a book of poems and a pile of plain paper, I prefer first.
The book goes a long way. Overproduction in the cultural sphere must be, since the opposite trend leads to defeat matter, How well known demand. It is appropriate, without worrying about, to whom I appeal from this rostrum, to assume, that the current low-cost technology offers the opportunity to transform our society into an enlightened democracy. I think, that this opportunity should be used before, literacy will become a videotizm.
I suggest starting with poetry, not only because, so we repeat the development of our civilization: the song was preceded by a story, — but also because, that the poems will require lower costs. Let's start with dozens of famous names. A bookcase ordinary reader of poetry are, it seems to me, thirty to fifty volume of poetry. Half of this amount can be put on the same shelf, or fireplace, or, at worst, on the window sill in every American home. The price of a dozen poetry books in paperback coming today, the biggest, a quarter of the cost of TV. And if this bookshelf yet, it is not related to the lack of taste for poetry among the people, and the obvious inability to develop it due to the unavailability of books.
In my opinion, books should come to each porch, like electricity, like milk in England, like the communal facilities, and the price should be minimal. And in any case, the verses should be sold in pharmacies (not least because, they enrich by, from you in terror). And of course, anthology of American poetry should be in every hotel room the bedside table next to the Bible, which would not object to such close, not complaining as it is on a neighborhood telephone directory.
All this is feasible, and even more so in America. For, among other things, American poetry — the best, that there are in the country. Required by the view, to see some things clearly; before us one of those things, and I was the, who can look the part. Number of verses, established on this earth during the last half century, outshines similar venture in any other literature, and for that matter, and our jazz, and our movies, which rightly admired around the world. The same applies, I would venture to say, and their quality, since this poetry is permeated by the spirit of personal responsibility. Nothing is more alien to American poetry, than the European specialization in psychology of the victim with it's pointing at someone's guilt finger; alternation of ups and downs, Prometheus affectation and eternal nagging. That's true, in American poetry has its flaws: abundance of provincial visionaries and verbose neurotic. Yet it an excellent remedy, a one-percentage allocation method is bad for the health of the nation, which could be proud of poetry no less, freedom than.
Poetry, by definition, deeply individualistic art, and in a sense this country — not a chance it haven. And supposedly, наверное, not by chance, that in this country of individualism reached its extreme eccentric, both modernists, and the traditionalists (he also gave rise to modernism). In my opinion, as well as to my ears, American poetry -beskompromissnaya and tireless preaching separateness of human existence, atom song, if anything, rejecting chain reaction. Are inherent courage and self-control, the ability to look at the worst, unblinking. Her eyes opened wide in surprise or not in anticipation of the clues being, but in case of danger. In her little comfort (favorite horse of European poetry, especially Russian); an abundance of distinct details; lack of nostalgia for some golden age; it teaches hardness to find a way. If you choose a motto for her, I would suggest a line of Frost “The servants of the servants”: “The best way out is always through”.
I dare to talk about American poetry in general, not because of its solidity and homogeneity of the body, but because, her way to the reader's my theme. It should be noted, that the famous maxim about the role of the poet and his duty to the society poses a problem on its head. If we are talking about a public appointment of, who hires himself, the social function of the poet — poetry writing, and it does not call for society, but by their own vocation. write well — Now his only duty, debt to the language. his poems, written in the language of his people, — this is a step towards the public. The task of society — go out to meet him, that is, to open the book and read it.
If one can speak of evasion of duties, it is not the fault of the poet, because he did not stop writing. so, poetry — It is the highest form of expression in every culture. Refusing to read poetry, society dooms itself to inferior speech patterns in the mouth of the policy, businessman or sham, ie. self-speech capabilities. In other words, it loses its evolutionary potential, for that, what distinguishes us from the animals, — it is the gift of speech. accusations, and then imposed on poetry, it is difficult, dark, sealed and that there is still, They speak not so much about the state of poetry, how about, on a lower evolutionary stage delayed society.
Since poetic a conversation is never interrupted; Besides, He avoids clichés and tautology. The absence of these things just accelerates the art and distinguishes it from life, whose main stylistic device, if I may say so, it is a cliché and a tautology, because life every time it starts first. Not surprising, that society now, confronted with poetry, at a loss, as if the need to jump on the train on the move. I have already had occasion to speak, poetry — not fun, and in a certain sense, not even art, but our anthropological, genetic goal, evolutionary and linguistic guide. it seems, we feel it is in childhood, when, absorbing and memorizing verses, language learner. But very soon, grown up, We abandon this beautiful practice, Convinced, that we have mastered. Although we have mastered just stereotypes, sufficient for, to outwit the enemy, sell something, ensure that, that you slept, get promoted, but not able to be cured from depression or cause joy. Until you learn the meaning of the proposal to fill, the van, or to distinguish between favorite features “soul-pilgrim”, not yet understand, what “The memory of bygone splendor and values ​​/ Do not cancel the futility and oblivion, /The horror and the end of your humiliation”, until this is absorbed into your blood, you're still vegetating among Bezyazykov. And they are the majority, if there is consolation.
Anyway, poetry reading develops excellent linguistic intuition. And poetry is also the most effective form of mental acceleration. On the tiny space of the present poem overcomes enormous emotional distance and its end often offers good news or revelation. This is because, that in the process of composing the poet uses, for the most part unconsciously, two main ways cognition, available to mankind: east and west. (of course, both is found in both hemispheres, but the predominance of one of them depends on the tradition.) The first is based on the rational, accurate analysis. In common representations, it is associated with male self-confidence and is usually illustrated by the Cartesian cogito ergo sum1. The second relies on the synthesis intuitive, It requires self-denial, and it is best personified by the Buddha. In other words, Poetry offers an unbiased sample of the combined work of the human mind in. That is the main attraction of poetry, besides the use of rhythmic and phonetic properties of language, which in and of themselves sufficient expressive. The poem seems to say to the reader: “Whether I”. And at the time of reading you become, what are you reading, you match the language of the state, which is recorded in a poem, and the good news, and revelation, hidden in it, — now your. They are still yours and after, you shut the book, since you can not go back to that position, when you have not yet opened. This is the meaning of evolution.
A goal of evolution — survival is not Superman or defeatist. If this was the first, we would stop Arnold Schwarzenegger; whether it is the second, that is ethically more acceptable, we would have to settle for Woody Allen. The goal of evolution, you agree with it or not, Still Beauty, that all will survive and will be the only true due to the fact, that is an alloy of sensory and spiritual. Existing only in the eye of the beholder, Ideally it can be expressed only in words: And then it goes on stage poem, semantically equally flawless, as phonetically.
No other language is not absorbed so much meaning and euphony, as English. Born there or have adopted them — The Greater Good, which can get to the person. Prevent its carriers to get unlimited access to it — anthropological crime, and it is precisely for this and reduces the current system of distribution of poetry. I do not know, right, worse: burn books or read them; I think, but, that the publication of the poetry of symbolic copies — it is something intermediate between the two. Ought not to be expressed so radically, but when you think about the great poetic works, which I drove rink oblivion, and then recall the monstrous demographic prospects, to mind involuntarily comes to mind about the closeness of depressing cultural regression. And not even because I am concerned about the fate of culture, great and small poetic works, how many people, unable to express themselves adequately, and therefore apply to the activities. Since the possibility of such actions are limited musculature, he turns to violence, using weapons there, which could help the epithet.
In short, familiar old practice should be rejected. It is necessary to spread the universal poetry, both classical, and modern. It must be transmitted, по-видимому, in private hands, but the support of the state. Should be guided at all, who more than fourteen. Emphasis should be placed on American classics, and that before, who and how to publish, let it decide two or three competent person, ie. poets themselves. Literary critics with their ideological bickering is better to keep a distance, because in this area there is no other dictate, except taste. Beauty and her companion, the truth can not be subordinate to any philosophical, political and even moral dogma, as aesthetics — ethics mother, and not vice versa. If you think otherwise, Try to recall the circumstances, in which you fall in love.
About what, but, should not forget, it's about a society striving to assign the role of a great poet someone one — at a time, or even a whole century. This is done in order, to avoid reading other and even that, appointed, if his or her temperament is not the same as yours, whereas in any era there are several equal-poets in any literature, by whose lights you can navigate the path. In the end, one way or another will feature terrific temperaments, because otherwise it can not be: hence the poetic differences. By the grace of the language so you have to, to give society a hierarchy of aesthetic norms, so that they could imitate, ignore them or take them. In this case, the poets not only role models, many pastors, they realize it or not — and better, when you do not understand. Society needs in each of them; if the measures, I'm talking about, They will be taken, there should be no preference. Because at these heights is no table of ranks, trumpets should sound the same for everyone.
I suppose, that society will stop at one, because it is easier to deal with one, more than. Company multiple Therefore, as more difficult to manipulate secular holy, because the policy will have to invent a system of values, not to mention a form of expression, proper, at least, therefore proposes: values ​​and form of expression, which no longer seem exceptional. Such a society would be more fair democracy, than, what we know so far. For the purpose of democracy — not democracy itself, that it would be a tautology. Democracy must be enlightened. Democracy without education — is at best a good police patrolled the jungle with a poet, appointed as Tarzan.
I am here talking about the jungle — not about Tarzan. For the poet to be forgotten-not much of a tragedy, these things happen, he can afford them. In contrast to the society, have a genuine poet always has a future, and his verses in a way invite us to enter into it. И последнее, may be, the best, what about us, It `s that, what we — Future by Robert Frost, Marian Moore, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, to name a few… each generation, living on earth, it's kind of the future, who disappeared from the scene, and when we read the verses, we understand, that wrote them knew us, poetry, before us, — this, in fact, our genetic source. We have from time to time to consult with him, not blindly follow it.
repeat: Therefore, never at a loss, he knows, that others will come to replace it and pick up the thread there, where he had left her. (It is a growing number of other, energetic and vociferous, requiring attention, It becomes the cause of his neglect.) He is able to go through it as well, as well as the, that he is regarded as sissy. But society just can not afford to be forgetful, it is compared with the strength of the spiritual poet just turns sissy and often remains a loser. for society, whose main function is to own reproduction, lose poet — same, that the loss of brain cells. This leads to the disruption of speech, It makes moo there, which require an aesthetic choice, zapolonyayut it weeds, turning you into the grateful listeners demagoguery or just noise. The physiology of reproduction in this case does not suffer.
There are very few drugs for hereditary diseases (possibly, indistinguishable in the individual, but explicit in the crowd), and that, I offer here, It is not a panacea. I just hope, that the proposal, being accepted, It will slow down the spread of cultural decline in the following generation. As already mentioned, I took this job with the zeal of a public servant, and, наверное, Salary from the Library of Congress in Washington has affected my mind. maybe, I look like a health minister, cling label on modern packaging poetry, such as cigarette pack. Sort of: this way of doing things is hazardous to health. We are alive, but it does not mean, that we are healthy.
it seems, Santayana said first, do not remember the history are doomed to repeat it. Poetry has no such claims. And yet, she has something in common with history: it refers to the memory and comes in handy future, not to mention the present. of course, it can not cope with poverty, but can cope with ignorance. And it is the only remedy against the callousness of the human heart. Therefore, poetry should be available to everyone in this country, to be sold at low prices.
Fifty million copies of the anthology of American poetry at two dollars per copy can be sold in the country with a population of 250 million people. maybe, not right away, but gradually, for a decade, it will disperse. Books find their readers. And if you do not disperse, let it roll around, gather dust, rot and decompose. Always there is a child, which fished the book out of the garbage heap. I was such a child, is it good or bad, and, possibly, several of you — also.
A quarter of a century ago, in my previous incarnation, I knew a man, Robert Frost who translated into Russian. I met him through his translations: they were great Russian poetry, and I wanted to see the translator as much, how to read poems in the original. He showed me a hardcover edition (it seems, it was Holt), which opened at the page with poems: “Happiness gets height / the, what duration we / received less…” The page was printed large, twelfth the size of the trace military jackboot. On the title page of the book was a stamp: STALAG No. 3B, which meant the German concentration camp for prisoners of war somewhere in France during the Second World War.
Here is an example of the poetic books, which found its readers. From it only needed to be on the road. Otherwise I would not have come to it, especially not picked up.
October 1991
Translated from English Dmitry Chekalov
* Lecture, read by the author at the Library of Congress in October, 1991 g.
1 thoughts — следовательно, exist (Lat.).
* “Banner” N 9, 1999 g.

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