September 18th, 2008

it'sallgood: chet zar

The poet's voice [...] can be one of the props, the pillars to help man endure and prevail

We have a feature on our company intranet where each employee has the chance to post a little profile about themselves. What kind of books they read, how many years they've lived with their dog, and their child, and their spouse in Anyville, Tera.

Today, someone linked to William Faulkner's 1950 nobel prize acceptance speech, and something in it moved me.

Right now his words feel appropriate, and reading them soothed some of the nerves that have been jangling, convinced, as I am, that our world is going to shit.

He singles out literature, but I would apply his criticisms to all of our artistic endeavors, including mass media. "Pull yourself together," it says to me, "you are far better than that, and we have work to do."

I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work--a life's work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before. So this award is only mine in trust. It will not be difficult to find a dedication for the money part of it commensurate with the purpose and significance of its origin. But I would like to do the same with the acclaim too, by using this moment as a pinnacle from which I might be listened to by the young men and women already dedicated to the same anguish and travail, among whom is already that one who will some day stand where I am standing.

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