Eileen Myles on class in language, language and class & on moolah
Myles on moolah and more over at Full Stop. Smart, incisive, and pragmatic.
“I do think it’s possible to make a living doing my writing but you have to be willing to live badly which I frequently do. There’s lots of blogs to write for instance and oddly even if they “pay” you you have to wait longer than ever before. While everything’s electronic pay checks are moving slower than ever before. You could blame the post office but I blame politics for that too. Increasingly though the belief is that you must be an academic or a publishing heavy if you are writing about books and you are obviously making your income elsewhere or else you are new or young or wealthy already and are just now climbing into prominence and need the “exposure.” So there’s less respect than ever for the idea that a writer or even a aloud reader of her work needs to get paid. There’s much shame about $ and that during an economic downturn. I find this trend to be deeply immoral. So the desire to make a living as a writer is a true perversion in this culture but I think we need our perverts more than ever.”
Myles on class and language, class in language and more over at Trop
Everything’s about class in some way, in the same way that everything about sex is about class. Everything about language is about class. You’re always giving a huge amount of information, and you’re always speaking as a member of a certain group in a way. It’s never without context. I’m very aware of that. When I first started writing poetry—especially because I was young and I had no idea who I was or who or what was speaking or who or what was making these poems—I made up a bit of a character who was quite a lot like me and decided that they were writing my poems. I exteriorized some of the things that actually made up my own identity. And I thought of all of the different ways of speaking I heard when I was growing up and what I liked and didn’t like. I’ve always been obsessed with the sonorous qualities of speech and with what figures of speech can most appropriately be said in conversation as opposed to in a poem.
and from the same Trop interview:
“There’s a kind of anywhere-ness and an anyone-ness that’s really exciting and important to me in language—that language not be of a particular privileged class. All class is a privilege, even the lowliest have a vernacular that is all their own that they use to keep people in and keep people out.”