cut from the mosaic ...
You have all seen this one:
“No body could pretend serious interest in my work that was not completely familiar with all the works of Joyce and the French symbolists” (MM, "Letter from Mcluhan to Marshall Fishwick, July 31, 1974").
BUT what about…this Sunday Post of Canada piece few years back.
[Unnamed interviewer - and MM].
Q – Do you consider yourself an artist?
M – Entirely. Always have been. Nothing else.
Q – Then why the doctorate and academe?
M – I have never attempted to win the respect of my colleagues. I go against the grain.
Q – If people accept your insights?
M – I would panic. I would assume they lost their noodle.
MM effectively concludes the interview, going on to note that so long as he is violently disapproved of, I am on the right course.
. . .
Reading McLuhan as an artist, we may, like his reflections on Eliot, see him as enlarging the sphere in which the artist functions as a critic of his own work while engaged in making it. He is attending deeply to the central problem, with art itself, as opposed to merely reacting (MM, Great Tom 20).
. . .
Such tentative introductory steps reveals much about McLuhan work. Understanding McLuhan's book outputs as a kind 'expanded' poetry (again, merely a tentative designation requiring modifiers), suggests we should not read his works as we read prose. Instead, we might take up McLuhan’s own reflections as a guide to reading poetry (himself). McLuhan notes, to ask such questions as “what does it mean?” (e.g. “what does McLuhan mean”), indicates a kind of reader who is not prepared to look at the poem. He (the reader) wants a conceptual formulae instead of an experience. He will not make that act of faith Coleridge said was the first condition of contact with art as he distrusts anything to which he must submit and he cannot relax his dialectical muscles and receive. (MM “The hollow man”, p. 9)
. . .