Litkicks Message Board Archive

writers, artists and politics

Posted to Poetry and Politics

W.H. Auden wrote that, "the honest truth, gentlemen, is that, if not a poem had been written, not a picture painted, not a bar of music composed, the history of man would be materially unchanged."

That would seem, to me at least, to be a highly contestable statement. But then I read the following quote by Vonnegut, about the Vietnam war, and realized that the same might be true of the war in Iraq/ on terrorism.

"When it became obvious what a dumb and cruel and spiritually and financially and militarily ruinous mistake our war in Vietnam was, every artist worth a damn in this country, every serious writer, painter, stand-up comedian, musician, actor and actress, you name it, came out against the thing. We formed what might be described as a laser beam of protest, with everybody aimed in the same direction, focused and intense. This weapon proved to have the power of a banana-cream pie three feet in diameter when dropped from a stepladder five-feet high".

Depressing, yes?