Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thought for the Day: Seamus Heaney on Totalitarian Attempt to Control the Act of Interpretation

In ideal republics, Soviet republics, in the Vatican and Bible belt, it is a common expectation that the writer will sign over his or her individual, venturesome and potentially disruptive activity into the keeping of an official doctrine, a traditional system, a party line, whatever. In such contexts, no further elaboration or exploration of the language or forums currently in place is permissible.

Seamus Heaney, The Government of the Tongue (London: Faber & Faber, 1988), p. 96.