EWR: It seems that you are using your writing, your art, as a tool, not just to probe into individual human condition but into the 'collective' human condition. Some artists would argue that the internal world of humans is our true condition and others might argue that it is our interaction, and our relationships that give us better insight into who we are. Do you feel that it is the internal human nature that defines us or the interaction and conflict?
Jaffe: I've phrased it (borrowing form the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor) as the distinction between art-making that endorses a liberation of nature as opposed to a liberation from nature.
I believe in the former. That is, like Gramsci ('pessimist of the intellect, but optimist of the will'), I've willed myself to believe that the human condition (not excluding animals, plants and the planet overall) is capable of being modified and democratized and that art can play a role in that effort.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Harold Jaffe speaks
Harold Jaffe just gave an interview to Every Writer's Resource: