Saturday, March 17, 2007

survival of the fittest

I'm not sure if I fully agree with this, but it has a sensible sound to it. Umberto Eco, in a Wired interview cica 1997:

You publicly supported Italy's new center-left coalition government when it was campaigning for election in April 1996. After the victory, it was rumored in the Italian press that your payoff was the new post of Minister of Culture - but you turned down the job before it was even offered. Why?

Because before you start talking about a Minister of Culture you have to decide what you mean by "culture." If it refers to the aesthetic products of the past - beautiful paintings, old buildings, medieval manuscripts - then I'm all in favor of state protection; but that job is already taken care of by the Heritage Ministry. So that leaves "culture" in the sense of ongoing creative work - and I'm afraid that I can't support a body that attempts to encourage and subsidize this. Creativity can only be anarchic, capitalist, Darwinian.
Andrei Codrescu also has an interesting idea.



Anonymous J@simpleposie said...

The last words in the Eco interview are so beautiful

3:38 PM  
Blogger arthur said...

"And you, sir, if you had the chance to ask someone else that question, who would you ask? Joking aside, I already travel in the past: haven't you read my novels? And as for the future - haven't you read this interview?"

7:09 PM  

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