domingo, abril 08, 2007

Vamos falar de poesia

Como se o caso de "Ern Malley" precisasse de mais ironia, o editor Max Harris - o responsável pela publicação dos poemas forjados - foi levado a tribunal, acusado de 'indecent advertisements'. O que se segue é um excerto do excelente livro de Michael Heyward sobre o assunto, que inclui partes das actas do julgamento :

« [the prosecution] then took Harris through ‘Egyptian Register’ line by line. Though it was never stated with such clarity, the Crown case seemed to be that where the poetry was not obscene it was unintelligible, and that was almost as bad.
‘Are you able to take either of the stanzas in the verse of “Egyptian Register” and tell the Court what it means?’
‘I can communicate to you the kind of emotional impact that the stanzas in question will have. You start off with the man as it were examining the body.’
‘Where do you get that from?’
‘Because he takes in turn various parts of the body, hand, skull, spine, lungs, etc., and lets his associations play about the kind of emotions they suggest to him.’
‘Where do you get that from? You can’t point to any word or sentence about that, can you?’
‘Each thing he takes up suggests to him, within the context of the larger idea he is developing, that of the inexplicability of human life, the exotic or mysterious qualities in these physical things.’
‘Where does he say anything about the inexplicability of human life?’
‘A dark purpose I would say would be inexplicable.’
‘That is what you are relying on for what you have said about the inexplicable purpose of human life?’
‘I merely gave you one instance. “The skull gathers darkness” assimilates from without itself those things which are inexplicable.’
‘It wouldn’t be possible that what you have just read is meaningless gibberish, would it?’
‘What else is there which indicates that the author is talking about the inexplicable things of life?’
‘Another suggestion of vagueness and inexplicability is associated with the spine reference.’
‘But what is there inexplicable about that except the language?’
‘The spine contains part of the brain, and the author links it with the harsh and inquiring element of the brain which pierces or attempts to pierce the obscurity of life.’
‘What is the harsh and inquiring element of a brain? Where do you get that from?’
‘The spine.’
‘What actual words are there referring to the harsh and inquiring elements of the brain?’
‘I am conceding that it is difficult to put these things into intellectual terms but it is apparent that the general emotional suggestion is there.’
Take the first line, “The hand that burns resinous in the evening sky”. What does “resinous” mean?’
‘I don’t know, I think it refers to “residence”. I did not look it up in the dictionary. That is not that it can’t be understood, that is bad studentship on my part. There might well be other words in Ern Malley’s poems which I can’t understand.’
‘Is that because you are too lazy to look them up, or did not think it was necessary to get a satisfactory reaction from the poems?’
‘Partly both. Even though I don’t know what it means, it evokes an image in mind.’
They clawed their way to the end of the stanza: ‘I suppose you contend that a person would have to be particularly nasty minded to suggest that the words “immense index” used in connection with the genitals might refer to a large phallus?’
‘I agree.’
In other words you would have to be deliberately looking for some nasty meaning before you could suggest it meant that?’
‘I think so.’
‘You don’t think it would be possible for any fair-minded person to think that the author in using the word “index” was referring to a penis in the state of erection?’»

(Michael Heyward, The Ern Malley Affair, Faber and Faber, 1994)

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