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 Ernest Hemingway Message Boards : Book Talk
Subject Topic: Cultural Discontent Post ReplyPost New Topic
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RonPrice
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Joined: 27 March 2006
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 9
Posted: 27 September 2006 at 3:46am | IP Logged Quote RonPrice

I have tried to capture the essence of a book by Andrew Brink and some of what Hemingway represents in the following prose-poem.

_______________________________

DISCONTENT AND UNDERSTANDING

A deep source of discontent in our culture is gender polarity. Since the 1960s, or perhaps the 1920s, we have been pleading for new erotic freedoms which break decisively with the inherited wisdom of our culture that lifelong monogamous heterosexuality is desireable for both men and women. We have seen male sexual drivenness, obsession, at the core of our culture since Hemingway and Fitzgerald. We have seen a psycho-social mutation of culture away from Judeo-Christian restraint to a new secular religion of permissive eroticism. -Ron Price with thanks to Andrew Brink, Obsession and Culture: A Study of Sexual Obsession in Modern Fiction, Associated UP, London, 1996, pp. 195-204.

Obsessively driven sexuality

may just bethe single most powerful,

driving, force at work in our lives,

in our urban jungles, in our world

contracted into a neighbourhood,

the commercial promotion of sexuality

and its promiscuous edges

in an overmothered psycho-class.

And so this poetic creativity becomes

an affective control system, lifting mood

by the exercise of inventive powers.

For apocalyptic sexuality is no source

of personal freedom, only a place

for the ambiguities of attraction,

fear and inhibition, acute moral discomfort,

morbid symptoms and overmastering

id-driven wishes. But I find.....

understanding here in these powers.

Ron Price

16 November 1997



__________________
married for 37 years, teacher for 30 years; Baha'i for 47 years, living in Australia for 34 years.
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