Excerpt from a letter: Harry Fainlight to Ruth Fainlight

sent from Den Cottage, Sarn, Powys, Wales, Sept. 6, 1981

Your particular duty now is to help preserve the poetry that I wrote before I
went to America (& since) & which belongs to your own literary area but which
has been cut off & isolated from it by those three intervening years. Politically, it
is only the work of those three years which they wish to exploit. And the formulae
of exploitation are very profitable & so they keep on repeating them. But they
have become more & more irrelevant to the whole of my work; those years exist
in it only as a body of water, a lake in a far greater surrounding land mass.
Certainly they are not where I live . I am saying all this because there is still no
one who really cares enough to be responsible for my work; to protect it from the
inroads of philistinism. If you do not, it encourages the philistine movement. And in
fact, this is so far what has happened. As I say, tho', it cannot go on, to
anyone's benefit. The destructiveness of it is only of benefit to the large numbers
of people amongst whom the cultural spoils are distributed by the mass media.
Poetry itself does not benefit it merely reduces it to one of the Do-It-Yourself
hobby industries; a level to which I'm afraid many of our periodicals & societies
are sinking.

From the original document from Harry Fainlight to his sister Ruth was sent by her in response to Niall McDevitt's review of From the Notebooks by Harry Fainlight published in issue 15.


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