Death of the ArtistRoland Barthes said, "Death of the Author," and society said, "Hey, why not?"More Like This
They didn't actually kill them, and it wasn't just the authors, either, though there isn't much written about the artists in those early days. The theory was to pretend that there was no author, to better separate the text from the experiences of the writer. Of course, that's impossible to enforce. So society went the other way. If they couldn't separate the author's experience from the text, they'd separate the author from experience.
It worked well, at first. What author or artist wouldn't leap at the chance to live in a commune full of no one but other artists and authors? They lived a kept life, with nothing to do but further their art. Everyone chosen to go for those first test runs was ecstatic. So they say.
Non-fiction authors don't go, of course. I've always wondered if they resent that.
I like to think that my parents are glad that I never showed the artistic talent to get myself shut away in one of
el canto del Chesomeday I will travel to Machu PicchuMore Like This
to see the ruined despondent glory
in those desolate courtyards; memories
of men and gods long vanished
into the pack of tricks called history.
to see mournful faces and backs bowed,
but not broken by years of toil;
to see the houses of the bitter,
humiliated remnants of splendour long faded
and touch the dregs
of hope left in their shattered Quechua souls.
I will witness the last breath of a viejita
after whispering lies that she will never remember
when I know there is nothing to ease
slow, inexorable mortality.
I will trek in the Atacama of men's hearts
to find a couple dispossessed by their beliefs,
staring at me in a stupor chilling as the desert nights
and only their dreams remain dignified.
I will bridge the Amazon with my shattered lung-strokes,
with every pant and wheeze and cough
dancing with the botos and lepers
and realize we are not so different somehow.
The haciendas and latifundios lie deserted
with its denizens gathered around an ol
delivering by devouring.I live like a king in a place like a hovel.More Like This
We are outcasts from the mainland, doomed to medical facilities for the "good" of our "weak minds". I know we are above this, so I still comport myself as I have all my life, for I have a higher purpose than sitting in disinfected rooms and letting them analyse my actions all wrong.
They caught us in our visit to the White House, delighted to rectify the times when we slipped through their fingers. The shattered windows and toppled trophies and the neat pile of cleaned bones in the offices of the world's leaders had confounded them at first. Without the twisted guidance of their puppeteers - Presidents, Emperors, Prime Ministers, Kings - only their terror forced them into hesitant action. They knew, of course, that we were right all along; the arbitrators of Mother Nature's suffering had to be disposed of. But the ties of the narrow-minded community kept them chasing, all the way up to the steps of America's finest architecture.