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A British Artist's Indirect Reply to the Suspect Conduit of Unjust Criticism

18/01/15 | by John Bruce Cairns [mail] | Categories: John

A Line Drawn Under is comprehensible to the meanest intelligence. Your friend must take you for a fool, that you give credence to his words it’s incomprehensible, meaningless. You’d’ve won if you said you understood it, as you did when he cited a comment I made on Facebook as proof it wasn’t comprehensible, though, to substantiate his charge, he would have had to adduce something from the story itself. No way would he let an inferior understand what he didn’t.

You’re following your own agenda in relaying what he said, exemplified by your repeat of what he once said, that I was a clown. If it didn’t work the first time, it’s unlikely to a second. You have ridiculed me before.

The words ‘incomprehensible, meaningless’ look to be his. One can usually tell from the terms used what‘s behind their use. He doesn’t want the failure to be of his understanding, therefore it has to be the writer’s; the writing has to be incomprehensible, meaningless, to everybody for it also to be for him.

He should read my story in ‘Dadaoism, An Anthology’ by Chômu. That’d be a real challenge. There’s no play with words in this one, no realisation of the unconscious. Superficially it’s straightforward reportage of a unit of action and of time, with a coda that gives the action retrospective point for the writer and reader. There is more to the underlying set-up and structure than that but nothing that’d impinge on him to warrant saying the story is incomprehensible and meaningless, even by someone for whom English is a foreign language. If he also said I was the lowest of the low, he must’ve been understanding enough, even by his own way of it, and have been reading meaningfully on to reach what you’d take as substantiating that statement and believe that for him I am, the lowest of the low.

You yourself were in a funk the story might reflect on you when it came up on Facebook. I commented you wouldn’t’ve read it, after you affected to have by referring to the first line of what did come up on Facebook before the button you’d have to click to read more. That you didn’t read it is the only reflection on you the story makes. There’s no mention of you in it. It has nothing to do with you, as he must’ve been disappointed to find when he read it through for means to put you down. He’s intellectually dishonest.

To explain his use of the terms ‘incomprehensible’ and ‘meaningless’, there has to be something he couldn’t understand but I can’t think what, or something his unconscious got, didn’t like but could only reject in conscious terms. The words, ‘lowest of the low’, don’t help because the unconscious is commonly engaged by sex and his wouldn’t be made feel inferior by the explicitness since I doubt his unconscious could get over what he might do but would never say to any appreciation of the artistic use I made of the sex. Something about the story made him feel inferior and incited the need to put it and its author down and himself up but I can’t tell what from his reported words.


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the official website for the appreciation of Scottish playwright and poet Betty Clark (Joan Ure)


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