PROLOGUES: Conversations on the Arts, Politics and Science Between a Russian and an American. (Honored Guests Included!)
With Gary Corseri and Victor Postnikov
CYCLE One, June and July, 2013
Corseri: Hello Victor. "I believe it is about 1 month since our last electronic exchanges. Much has happened!
Referring to your note about the Russian/American anthology of poetry that looms ahead for you... and, especially, your comment that "the poets of both cultures should be conversing with one another," and certainly not forgetting your comment that you would be "delighted" if we were to work on such a project together (as I would be), I want to run a certain idea past you now.
In the past couple of weeks, tensions between the US and Russia have been much in the news here--first, concerning divergent approaches and alliances regarding Syria, the G-8 meeting, etc. Following that, even more news of tensions relating to the spying case of Edward Snowden, statements made by Obama and Kerry here, and Putin and Lavrov there.
Postnikov: Yes, I follow the latest news with zest, and I am worried about the growing tension between the US and Russia. At the same time, I'm well aware that the state surveillance never seized on both sides of the Atlantic. A lot of spies remained from the Cold War period. I have always felt disgust towards all state spies. Of course, I don't consider Snowden a "state spy"! He is an anti-state spy!
C: I, too, follow events "with zest"! I have had trouble for several decades (!) accepting the idea that politics and the Arts are separable! In fact, why shouldn't the Arts be informed by interesting, provocative thought in the sciences, technologies, religion, spirituality, etc.? Is this not a hodge-podge universe with all kinds of interwoven themes that artists--and other thinkers--are trying to interpret in order to bring the Whole--at least our little part of it--together?
And, should we not say, that Artists are also "spies"--looking at reality, observing life and imagining? But, unlike the State's spies, opening up their world of observations and imagination to others?
P: I realize that now is not the best time for poetics, as people around the globe are desperate to survive. And war is raging! And the earth suffers! But, maybe, it is because of this, that poetry is so badly needed! As an outcry against all the injustice of the world. This has always been the poets' stand, in all times, right? Blok, before his death in 1921, had expressed this in his brilliant short essays ("On Poets' Destination", "Intelligencia and Revolution", "On Humanism," and others). I wish you could read them. They are still valid.