Monday, July 05, 2004

‘...whoever does not understand the new has no comprehension of the past, and whoever comprehends the past must also understand the new. The whole tragedy arises when, instead of the real past with its deep roots, we get “yesterday.” This “yesterday” is easily understood poetry, a hen-house with a fence, a cosy little corner where domestic fowl cluck and peck about. This is not work done upon the word but rather respite from the word.’ --Mandelstam, in: The Silver Age of Russian Culture, ed Proffer & Proffer (1975)

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