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  1. John Ashbery in an interview, when asked about his feelings about the belittling of poetry in the modern world, noted that poetry, compared to his youth, has become not less, but even more – before there were one or two poetry magazines, now there are dozens of them; MFA for writers is completely legitimized; popularization of poetry has ceased to be a matter of separate library circles, and has begun to occur in large educational projects like courses on Open Yale.

    The reason why, in view of the above, we do not bask in the clones of Holderlin, Wordsworth, and Derzhavin is that literature has experienced the same changes as society as a whole: universal literacy has democratized reading, but the complexity and specialization that has occurred in the fields of humanities and exact sciences has not bypassed the fields of art – both literature and art.

    In other words, literature has become harder to know — just as it has become harder to know sociology or physics. That is why the average reader is usually unable to answer exactly what questions modern literature and art work with – it requires a higher reading threshold than before to understand that they work with everyone.

    They work with the crisis of modernity, alienation, landscape, relationships, politics, language itself. They work left and right, using the rhetoric of antiquity, Romanticism, newspapers, obscene correspondence, and Google queries. They make sense of big social changes and the daily pauses of existence like tying your shoelaces, and I don't think there's a single discipline that they don't touch. But just the way they do it at Language School is so far removed from the Harlem Renaissance that they don't have very many contexts in common. In any case, not in the same reading.

    So what about the lean age?

    Holderlin's age was not poor. Holderlin compared the century of the first industrial revolution, which began a process that would lead to a change in the entire social structure in a hundred years, with an idealized antiquity that never existed. His longing is a longing for the presence of the meaning-forming one so that it does not need to be searched for. The strategy, to be honest, is so-so, but you can understand it.

    Romantics, in principle, were the first to feel the gap between the possibilities of classical form and the reality surrounding them, which is gradually being mechanized by word and deed – hence the pessimism about form as such. As it were, classicism initially proceeds from the fact that the ideal has already been realized in the past, simply because there is not so much to say about classicism. The things that were formulated by the modernists also follow from classicism, yes — but within classicism they would not be possible. From this it follows that if, according to Holderlin, it is no longer possible to sing about gods and heroes, then what is the point of singing about anything at all?

    Part of the problem with this question is that romantics never planned to stop writing. Their pessimism did not allow them to build a decent alternative and resulted in a triumph of the irrational, but in a sense, the romantic project was an early attempt by art to create an alternative to religion – which subsequently took many variants from the aesthetic school to the avant-garde, until the adherents themselves came to the conclusion that it simply did not need it.

    What is important to understand here is that modern art has gone a very, very long way. The rate of its renewal is commensurate with the rate of renewal of society as such. And the relationship of the same poetry to the same classicism changed just as our ideas about the classical changed: from the indifferent exoticism of the Napoleonic missions in Egypt to the post-war social history of the ancient world – the life not of gods and heroes, but of potters, blacksmiths, laundresses.

    Part of the art community has done the same thing – politics, social work. Part of it went into a clean form. Some, in fact, continued the Helderlin line-Kafka, Beckett, Camus and Sartre all reveal the phantom genes of early Romanticism.

    This is also not a lean age. Yes, the Longfellow ship does not go out to meet the whole city today, and many in society harbor some stupid petty resentment that literature is more serving the people's interests, and moves on its own path.

    But first of all, the classics haven't gone away. Homer will continue to be a modern author insofar as he is re – read-and it would be foolish to demand a spontaneous classicism from modern literature, as if the old one were somehow inaccessible. Perhaps this requires a lot of effort on the part of the reader – but this is the mark-up for the perception of the century as meager, I'm sorry.

    And secondly, even if it is really impossible to write the life of the Titans now, then it is possible to say how much depends on the red one


    the raindrops,

    and with little

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