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The red and the read



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Okay, while you guys were busy squabbling I sauntered over to the
library and checked out Florence Rubenfeld's "Clement Greenberg. A
Life." Unfortunately, Frances Stonor Saunders was unavailable until
Monday, so for that I'll have to trust my memory.

1) Clement Greenberg worked for the CIA. Period. He was briefly on the
executive committee of the American Committee for Cultural Freedom, the
American affiliate/financial dependent of the Congress for Cultural
Freedom which was subsequently shown to be a CIA front. Remember, the
CIA is [was?] not allowed to conduct its activities in America.

2) Was Greenberg "witting?" Saunders spends a great deal of thought
asking these questions; as I recall, he suggests it would have been
very difficult indeed for anyone affiliated with the CCF, let alone
anyone on an executive committee, to *not* know. But read the details
on the ACCF.

3) On the third hand (or first foot, if you prefer), Greenberg was so
politically inept that it may not have occured to him. Check Rubenfeld,
pp. 121-23. It turns out that in 1951 Greenberg, who had been working
at the *Nation* for a while, decided to publish a letter accusing the
magazine of being a Stalinist front, thereby earning himself the
eternal gratitude of...Congressman George Dondero. That's the same bozo
who's usually quoted in the art textbooks for his denunciations of
Abstract-Expressionism as a commie plot. So, far from serving the left-
of-right "liberals" who were behind the CCF, Greenberg ended up as a
darling of the McCarthyites, the same people who hated modern art.

4) Does all of this matter? Well, I'm not going to try to persuade
anyone and maybe it's time we all stop trying. I do suspect that one of
the parties in this discussion may be quite a bit younger than the
other...

Paul T Werner, New York
http://theorangepress.com

WOID: A journal of visual language
THE ORANGE PRESS, publishing "Vellum Preparation: History and Technique"
DRAGONSBLOOD AND ASHES, a project to research and practice the
techniques of the medieval scribe

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