Normal service will be resumed shortly, I hope! Meanwhile I am making like this doll and have been pretty much constantly typing on various things since before Christmas. Some of them are documents. And some of them are typewriters. It’s hard to believe that January is nearly over already, but am hoping to be able to do more blogging in February. Meanwhile…
But then the news came from Paris, and all thoughts of poetry, or anything else besides grief and rage, went out of my head. Pascale is in Paris today, sitting in the middle of the news, being a woman who writes poetry, and having the power to write a book called Fauverie – a book that’s full of Paris; a book about the ability to speak and to write and to look – while IS with its uncivilised idiots and unsophisticated cognitive processes does its best to ruin the highly civilised place she does it in. There’s no such thing as ‘here’ or ‘there’ any more – this could as easily have been London or anywhere else. We are in the realm of the state of mind.
The Charlie Hebdo office had been under police guard since 2011, in fear of just this kind of attack. The magazine had responded to threat after threat – beginning with the 2006 ‘cartoons of the Prophet’ crisis – with satire. It threatened no one, it committed no violence, it just did what it does. It made cartoons. Would you have said those cartoons were kind? Not really. Were they tasteful, or polite? Not at all. But they did often sum up the ridiculousness of the situation in which someone might think a cartoon was justification for killing someone. Might they have been offensive to moderate Muslims? Yes, but then any moderate Muslim might be more offended by the idea that a cartoonist has been killed for a cartoon – especially in his or her name. So there can be no debate no the grounds of this attack having been ‘provoked’, or the cartoons having been ‘disrespectful’.
There is a lot more to say, and some of it will even be about poetry. And cartoons. And how we in the Enlightened West deal with material that offends us. And maybe different forms of wildness, and what being civilised means. For me it means, above all, the pen, and freedom of it. So I guess that means I am Charlie Hebdo.
That’s all for now. Yours in extreme sadness.