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What Was Really Existing Socialism, Comrade?: Monday Smackdown

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What was really existing socialism, comrade?

This was really existing socialism:

Yen Ho: Our Handling of 'The Great Wind': "In the tasks of editing and publishing the poem, we were in error...

...In our examination of it, we failed to assume a truly proletarian stance.... The reaction of our readers following the poem's publication was violent. In time, we invited concerned writers and literary figures to take part in the discussion. From the ensuring analysis and criticism, we came to realize that the problem of the poem's political stance was, in fact, a problem of anti-socialist content. As the whole nation is being plunged into crucial struggles against the anti-Party, anti-socialist, and anti-people Rightists, the appearance in our magazine of an antisocalist effort, unaccompanied by any explanation of our attitude, is unpardonable...

But surely nobody is attempting to emulate this, comrade?

You are in error, comrade: the Nation is attempting to emulate this:

Stephanie Burt and Carmen Giménez Smith:How-To: "Editor’s note: On July 24, 2018, The Nation and its poetry editors, Stephanie Burt and Carmen Giménez Smith, made this statement about the poem below...

...which contains disparaging and ableist language that has given offense and caused harm to members of several communities:

As poetry editors, we hold ourselves responsible for the ways in which the work we select is received. We made a serious mistake by choosing to publish the poem “How-To.”  We are sorry for the pain we have caused to the many communities affected by this poem. We recognize that we must now earn your trust back.  Some of our readers have asked what we were thinking. When we read the poem we took it as a profane, over-the-top attack on the ways in which members of many groups are asked, or required, to perform the work of marginalization. We can no longer read the poem in that way.

We are currently revising our process for solicited and unsolicited submissions. But more importantly,  we are listening, and we are working. We are grateful for the insightful critiques we have heard, but we know that the onus of change is on us, and we take that responsibility seriously. In the end, this decision means that we need to step back and look at not only our editing process, but at ourselves as editors...


#shouldread
#groupthink

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