E-mail to Jacob Voorthuis: 15.1199, 8.22 AM from Mark Raymond


Dear Jake
I am getting very frustrated here, it all seems like everything is
going well but the society gets seedier and seedier every day, it is
without any guiding taste, which must be a pre-requisite for any emergent
culture. One can wonder and contemplate the culture from outside as a
voyeur or anthropologist, but to glean any sort of meaningful or
satisfying benefit one has to start lying about what is there. I think
Pat does that.

I can't do it any more I have to suspend my belief and faith in the
society, I only sustain it by reading things like Texaco, but they are
all myths , all trying to extricate meaning from the despair. I need a
break from it which is what has prompted this interest in teaching, some
time to write and think intensively and not be an unwilling participant
in an unfriendly game.

Jamaica seems to be in a complete mess.  Steve (Ouditt) is
enjoying the experience of being in Jamaica although he does not like
it, but is enjoying teaching. He says Jamaica seems to be collapsing. I
spoke to somebody who had lived in ja many years ago and they said it
has always been like that.

I am glad you are enjoying Texaco, I feel it has to supped slowly and
lasciviously, like a huge bowl of red bean soup.

Much love and some extra for Vic.


Email to Mark Raymond 15.11.99. 3:40 PM from Jacob Voorthuis


Dear Mark,
There is no question that you are wrong about society getting seedier and
seedier, it is only you ability to see the seediness which is becoming more
refined, sophisticated and focused on the job. Jamaica has certainly always
been on the point of collapse. That is why the prophetic and messianic do so well there. Jamaica is drunk with itself and whenever it closes its eyes it falls
backwards into nothing and spins on the comfortable bed of its own luscious

Texaco is all myth, you are right, but so is every good piece of literature
ever written. These myth factories do not create meaning out of nothing,
don't be so creationist. They distil meaning from rich and yielding raw
material. Englishness, the American Dream and The French were created in
fabulous books, which so distilled their myths that people started refurnishing their
lives accordingly. Art assembles life into form and life then proceeds to
imitate it halfheartedly and incompletely in order to avoid its own feared
disintegration into chaos. The concept of Englishness for example is a
reality, it is a dynamic that has created itself. That is why real life is
always more disappointing at first and only wonderful once it is looked at
with a great sympathy for the desires that people conjure up and in great

We have got rid of what people used to think of as good and made the idea
very complex and relative. Just because it is difficult the project of
creating a pluralistic spociety that enjoys difference should never be
abandoned. Unfortunately it means that one has to see beauty everywhere as
the equation between good and bad is always balanced unless viewed from a
particular perspective. In the mire is
beauty, in the despair the vision of its negation. Perpectives give
direction. Society cannot use your faith. Society is the raw material,,, it
will only get better if you decide what is good and rebuild society
according to that dream. Unfortunately there are few who have the talent to
do that inclusively and even fewer who can truly break down group dynamcs
and its wild and distorting aesthetics. I think only Mahatma Ghandi ever got
close without becoming an absurdly painted saint. Look what they have made
of Christ.

Speak to you soon