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« Stacey's "Mussells in Cider" [moules au cidre] [by David Lehman] | Main | Young Lycidas: "Next Line, Please" Breaks New Ground [by David Lehman] »

August 20, 2016


Laura raises interesting questions here and you raise more Leslie. One of the purposes of caricature and satire is to provoke and surprise and reveal. And in these times the artist is taking real risks (think Charlie Hebdo). The artist can be sensitive but certainly cannot control how his or her work is received once it's out there. Wasn't it Eleanor Roosevelt (much lampooned and caricatured in her day) who said something like "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." Is the work more offensive b/c it's three dimensional, as Laura asks? It certainly is more "in your face." About the Trump statues, at first I was convinced by someone who pointed out the body shaming aspect but elsewhere I read this: "we CAN discern a difference between making fun of aging, out-of-shape bodies and satirizing an arrogant would-be tyrant, no? The artist strips away the clothing of the powerful and with it, power. As for penis size, Trump himself brought that into the discussion. I admire the sculptor for offering free, unexpected social art, and for making people laugh at a grim juncture in American political life."
No one is obligated to circulate something they believe will hurt and offend but Laura wasn't asking why did you or didn't you "share" the image. She is trying to understand the nature of the response and where it's coming from.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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