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Re: Book Art vs. Book Arts

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I'm going to answer this and let it drop because it's obvious that you
aren't going to concede anything. I'm not interrogating you. I'm responding
to your snide and very inaccurate accusations:

> It seems to me that the parallel between American support of abstract
> expressionism, and Soviet support of Socialist Realism is highly tendentious,
> and, indeed, not only not to be taken seriously--but not intended to be. It
> should have been obvious, that Jules raised the issue of politics as a red
> herring, with the sole intention of minimizing the work of abstract artists
> (i.e., book artists who work in non-traditional forms),

which I found so personally offensive and unfair that I felt called upon to
ask you to reveal your political preferences. I didn't raise the issues as a
"red herring" (a Fifties Cold War metaphor). And I certainly didn't do it to
minimize the work of book artists who work in non-traditional forms. I was
doing the opposite -- raising doubts about the validity of restrictive
definitions of art that often have political rather than aesthetic

You got everything I wrote wrong and then attacked me on the basis of your
misinterpretations. When I tried to get you to reveal your opinions about
Clement Greenberg's activities, you accused me of character assassination
for reporting factual observations. You say that my questions remind you of:

> the sort of tough, ham-handed, hot under the collar, committee-backed pursuit
> of menace and threat, of the relentless, beady-eyed pursuit of suspicious,
> shadowy, undercover, evil (or was it evil that was beady-eyed?), that Nixon
> framed so memorably. They remind me of comic books, too, the long, jagged
> shadows, the luridly colored cars that resembled crouching, prehistoric beasts
> and the grimly determined jawlines of guys in hats.

There's nothing like that in any of my posts. My language is, at most,
mildly joshing in tone. All the overheated verbiage is coming from you, not
me. Yet you continue to attack based on your erroneous perceptions and your
rather bizarre metaphors that really have nothing at all with what I wrote
or the way in which I wrote it.

Now you write:

> I would be amazed Jules Siegel, if they were of the remotest interest to
> anyone else reading this discussion group (Mr. Sweetwater a possible
> exception), who might have engaged with other, academic facets of our
> exchange.

Yet there have been several messages either offering further documentation
and discussion of the political issues or expressing very positive feelings
about my contributions in this thread.

You say:

> It seems a shame to leave it at a question of whether I'm soft on the red
> menace

Once again, you get my point all wrong. The implication of my questions was
whether or not you are an anti-communist (or an American patriot) who is
underhandedly accusing me of being a pinko because I put the CIA's support
of abstract expressionism -- and, much more important, destruction of the
careers of artists who could be construed as working in socialist realism --
on the same level as Stalinist art nomenklatur.

You have yet to explain why you feel I'm wrong about that. Why not?


JULES SIEGEL Apdo 1764 Cancun Q. Roo 77501

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