Basically Stan, you want people of other cultures to have a “total entitlement to human culture, a stance which necessitates the most extreme eclecticism” and yet they are not entitled to have or explore, exclusively, profoundly, their own traditions, because we must all exist, after all, in the pure eclecticism of the now? And I see that the idea of tradition doesn’t make up a part of your all-loving, all-inclusive “eclecticism”. With your outstretched hand then you profess the desire to be truly eclectic, yet with the back of your hand you then announce that different peoples’ traditions won’t make up a part of your eclecticism. Your “eclecticism” includes everything, except that part of people and peoples which is rooted in the past. Your “eclecticism” does not include the wound of colonialism, or the travels of a people in search of a new homeland, or an entire culture killed, with their language, in the mountains north of Ukraine. No, your eclecticism is always looking forward!
This “eclecticism” you pretend to is a sham; your philosophy of inclusion is a philosophy of exclusion: apparently different traditions, including your own, don’t qualify for the peaceful, eclectic, multifarious garden and palace the avant is building. Which is not surprising, however, because you don’t want to “preserve” anything, do you Stan? Not other cultures, nor languages, nothing. In fact, you think that nothing is worth preservation, that “preservation” is itself a dirty word. Heaven forbid that other cultures - and crucially, the avant-garde artists of these cultures - may feel that the only way to preserve their culture is via a profound maintenance, perhaps via poetry, of their own traditions, their own language, their own histories. But this preservation on their part only creates ethnic segmentation and violence, doesn’t it? It’s hardly very “cosmopolitan”.
I am excited to see then that the avant-garde is just another word for socio-political globalization. How wonderful it will be, indeed, when we have all “liberated our imaginations” and thus become true “cosmopolitan and/or global citizens.” No more pesky traditions, no more local cultures, just one big “non-conflictual” world avant-garde! In fact, the more cultures and traditions and languages we lose now, the better: the less preservation, the less conflict there will be, right? And we all hate conflict, don’t we?
And thus, the more of those poetics deeply reliant on specific traditions which we destroy, and the less “historical” and “traditional” our writing is in turn, the more we move towards the all-inclusive, all-eclectic poetic! Just like how the more Kalahari tribes which become integrated into the larger cosmopolitan culture of Cairo, the less reliant everyone is on all those ridiculous, specific histories! All those traditions which those tribes and their “conservative” poets stupidly cling to! What quietists! Thank god we have the avant-garde to help us overcome our debt to tradition, to help us universalize into the cosmopolitan, eclectic now!
“The goal is not to disappear the local but to universalize all the locals at once.” Some locals don’t want to be universalized. Some locals believe that some of their specific value lies in their being local. I did not know you were Voltaire.
Following your reasoning Stan, and Mark, I can only hope that all traditions are forgotten tomorrow, along with all languages, and all the people who maintain them. Let’s start afresh, indeed. Why should avant-garde Filipino poets need their own traditions to define their identities! What is Celan so caught up about? Be in the now, people. Move on!
I don’t consider myself a part of the rear-garde. But if this is your vision of the avant-garde, you can count me out.