Monday, April 20, 2009

Lenin, Stalin, Whee!

I got an urge to read some of Lenin's work, tho my sense of political expediency resides in the personal more than the united plunge into utility. I mean by that only that I am suspicious of the group effect, tho I recognize a need for teamwork, yo. So I got a few books from the library. One was a collection of Lenin's writing's on, as it was called, the women's issue. Wherein there are a lot of declarations that would fit perfectly in the Constitution. Lenin's self-consciousness and sense of effect, the need for that, deflates the vigour of his assertions for me, but I think he is worth reading, if for no other reason than to let his actual assertions bear the weight, rather than the straw dogs that 2nd hand pundits might have erected. This is a poetics of words speaking for themselves rather than as launchings of interested predicative. Or whatever...

Anyway, I also got a book by Stalin, a collection of his writings. It was edited by Bruce Franklin, in 1972. Franklin, who I do not know, adverts a familiar shrillness as a declared Communist. You know, university professor cum anti-war protester, cum professor without tenure. His assertions necessarily are tinged by the need to propagandize, which is unfortunate. Many years ago, my friend and I were wandering in Cambridge, aka the People's Republic. We noticed a Communist bookstore, and my friend had to investigate. It proved to be a rather spacious store front. Books and tracts were available, as I recall, but there really was much more room in the place than the offerings required. A copy of London calling by The Clash was available. The proprietor said that he took it in trade, but was dismissive of such commodity. I think my friend entered into discussion with the proprietor of the place, that would be like my friend. I kept quiet, being less schooled in historical matters as I should have been. On the wall were portraits of Communist heroes: Marx, Engels, Mao, Lenin, and, surprisingly to me, Stalin. I did not feel well prepared for debate then but I was able to speak one word to the proprietor: pogrom. The guy admitted that there were errors made by Stalin. Errors just does not seem to cover what Stalin did, does it? And not only that, Stalin was not even a comrade, he was an overlord. And irony just does not exist. I have not read Stalin's words yet, but Franklin clearly is in the same camp as the store proprietor, more intent on making a safe house for his theories than examining the actions of his hero. The drawing on the book cover (published by Doubleday, not some commie publishing inflection) shows Stalin in declarative action. He is at a podium. Left hand rests on some papers. His right hand reaches out to the audience. He has a benign expression. Despite the brown uniform that he wears, he looks like he is selling produce, Ey, try my fresh-picked apples. I think he owned many dachas, certainly wrested mucho power, ice ax to the head a-many opponents and otherwise scoffed the words he efforted to define. We do that in Americay, too. It is not just about inflection, but extension of words into action, and how action is the root of words. As in, how does one's words act. Poetry wants words in their naked selfhood. Not pleadings but stances in the mire, fought for. NotRobert's rules of order, but ambiance of meaning.