Friday, June 16, 2006

Open Letter to anonymous/name withheld

Dear anonymous/name withheld:

Responding to your comments on “Break Newz: Arabian Whites”, 13 June 2006.

I don’t consider the poetry of Auden, Millay, and Yeats to be “trivia”, if that’s what you meant (if I misconstrue, my apologies), but vital elements in the constellation of human culture and civilization (if the latter is indeed “civilized”, whatever that is).

From Theodore Ziolkowski’s Preface to one of my favourite novels, The Glass Bead Game (also published under the misleading title Magister Ludi), by the great Hermann Hesse: “The Glass Bead Game is an act of mental synthesis through which the spiritual values of all ages are perceived as simultaneously present and vitally alive.” (I think everyone who reads the novel is enriched.) This is a good description of what I try to achieve.

(For the record, I don’t equate myself with Hesse. I’ve learned much from some four decades of reading and pondering his works, values, and life. As an homage, and some small recompense, I chose “HH” as my blogger nom de plume.)

Some of my posts consist of short entries on several subjects; perhaps this is what you perceive as “rambling and disjointed.” (Perhaps the connections I sometimes see between these subjects exist only for me.) Most of my posts attempt to deal in a systematic, analytic, and scholarly manner with single subjects. And thank you, I do spend a good deal of time researching, writing, and polishing my posts, as I believe strongly in the critical nature of words, ideas, and communicating.

I am troubled by what I perceive (and again, if I misconstrue, my apologies) as the virtually ad hominem attack character of questions about “a real job” and my publishing history. These seem irrelevant to me; what is in question is whether what I communicate is valid and of value. I take no umbrage with anyone who disputes, debates, or rejects what I write.

Thank you for reading Museum of the Bourgeois and commenting. I hope you will find my posts interesting enough, or at least irritating enough, to continue in dialogue.

Sincerely,

HH

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous/Name Withheld said...

HH,

Questions regarding your employment status and if you have been published were not meant as a character attack. The questions came from my perception that you are intellegent, well read, and put much effort into your writing. My thought is that you should not spend all your efforts on a blog. Although you are on the World Wide Web, that does not mean that the whole world is reading it.

It is obvious you have extensive political and literary knowledge along with some very strong viewpoints. Consider submitting to political journals, appropriate magazines, radio(NPR), television. The powerful combination of politics and literature would also lend itself to short story and novel fiction.

You state you do not take umbrage with those who disagree with your point of view. I applaude that you take that stance and that you spelled it out.

As an aside, one of your blog responders suggests that showing one's Puritain work ethic is a bad thing. I view it as being a good role model.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous caller'kuaq said...

anonymous/name withheld,

I do not consider the puritan ethic to be a bad thing. I was raised to value work as its own reward and I believe that ethic has served me well and helped me to continue what I feel is a modestly successful journey along life's highways and byways (with an emphasis in my case on the byways).

I also believe that a person who genuinely models their value system is simultaneously rare and a real treasure. I do not doubt that you model your convictions.

Without making attribution, I would express a deeply held difference with value systems that hold themselves to be at the same time universally true and exclusive. Where the trolley runs off the track for me is when individuals, either singly or collectively attempt to do me the favor of coercing me to adopt their value system whether in the name of love and righteousness or otherwise.

Your further clarification in this post was well spoken. Frankly, my perception of your initial post was that it was either of a thinly veiled ad hominem nature or just plain derisive.

FWIW, your remarks about your personal circumstances seemed rather boastful and my interpretation of LH's post was that it gently applied the needle of ridicule to an ego that may have begun to over inflate.

I echo HH's hope that you would continue to read and contribute to this blog. To date, regardless of the various rambles (Perhaps rejecting the notion that the shortest distance between any two points is a straight line, or for that matter that short distances are of some greater value. After all, in this journey of life, I am consciously trying to avoid the shortest distance.)the author has taken us on have generally produced respectful, and occasionally insightful dialogue. A broader group of participants could enrich that dialogue.

In the words of Caligula, if perhaps less pointedly meant, nothin' but love.

7:27 PM  

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