The crookedness of life

June 10, 2012

I was struck by this report by Boyd Tonkin in the Independent on the Calabash Festival in Jamaica:

“Philosophically speaking, I have a problem with Kantian subjectivity,” said the veteran Jamaican poet and artist Ralph Thompson.  For Kant, the Ding an Sich – the “thing in itself” – can never be known.  Yet the artist, in word or image, has no other mission than to make this intangible reality legible and visible.  Even when – as Earl McKenzie, another Jamaican poet-philosopher, reminded us – the abundant local reality has “an aversion to straight lines”.  Jamaicans, as his poem “Against Linearity” puts it, “fear the straight line/ for it is as rigid as death”.  So their art must catch “the crookedness of life”.

I like that…