Unreal Nature

November 17, 2014

This Happens

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:47 am

… The danger modernists have always seen in illusionism is that a public hungry for entertainment or affirmation will naively accept artifice as truth, and thus allow itself to be lulled or manipulated into a passive relationship with culture.

This is from Modern Art Despite Modernism by Robert Storr (2000):

… It is customary to use the expressions modern art and modernism interchangeably, but there is an important distinction. For the sake of simplicity, one may say that modern art is the art produced in the modern era, which, depending upon one’s larger sense of art history, began at the end of the eighteenth century, or the middle or end of the nineteenth … [It is] art that takes itself — its compositional techniques, methods of image making, physical presence, and constructive or destructive relation to the traditions of art — as its primary subject. Before modernist art is about anything else — an image, a symbol, the communication of an experience — it is about the logic and structure of the thing that carries meaning, and about how that thing came into being. In this respect, all modernist art is essentially abstract, even though only some modernist art looks it.

… it is erroneous to regard realism of any period as intrinsically reactionary. Realism worthy of the name takes observation of the given world as its primary task. The realists’ aim is to document the facts of experience and perception, and the most rigorous are prepared to sacrifice formal perfection and personal or consensus taste to that purpose. Thus, as critic and historian Linda Nochlin has argued, realism asserts the importance of the specific over the general, the actual over the ideal. For this reason, realism has always been the adversary of academic rules. In that same spirit, it has continually violated the laws of modernist abstraction as laid down by those who have interpreted its principles and practices as universal and absolute. In abstraction’s own struggle against the academy, avant-garde artists have sometimes carelessly, sometimes conveniently forgotten that strict realists are no less the enemies of canonical figuration than they are. Nevertheless, by persistently depicting what they see while refusing to tailor the results to a preconceived model, realists regularly offend both the avant-garde and the academy. Although academic sensibilities would never confuse strict realism with avant-garde art, advocates of the avant-garde have tended to lump all representational artists together, pushing realists into the opposition.

Of course, a realist’s choice of subject matter is never entirely neutral, regardless of how scrupulously neutral the finial execution of the work may seem. The decision to paint factories or nudes, cabaret singers or rural still lifes, is an ideological as well as an aesthetic one. Symbolism thus enters into images that may have no explicit narrative, and even the most documentary pictures invite exegesis. Beyond this, any description of a world in which everything has its place is a statement about order and stability. Appearances can be deceptive though, and much antimodernist art has exploited two opportunities inherent in such illusions. The first option is to unite in a single context objects, space, people, or events that could not possibly coexist in actuality. Surrealism does this blatantly; much superficially realist art does it discreetly. The effect of the latter can be as disorienting as that of the former, and sometimes more so, since the delayed jolt of a nagging “offness” in what seems at first glance like a perfectly ordinary scene threatens assumptions of normalcy at least as much as blatant fantasy does. The second option is to intensify the naturally static qualities of fixed images, evoking a preternatural immobility that can range in poetic connotation from amber eternity to icy inertia.

The danger modernists have always seen in illusionism is that a public hungry for entertainment or affirmation will naively accept artifice as truth, and thus allow itself to be lulled or manipulated into a passive relationship with culture. This happens. Modernists have opposed spectacle for the same reason, fearing that it will overwhelm viewers os completely as to deprive them of their critical faculties. This happens too. In both cases, the problem lies in the artist’s doing all the imaginative work, thereby transforming the public into a mere receptor or consumer while concealing the mechanics of the art and the artist’s decisions under a veneer of aesthetic wholeness. this seamless integrity seems to say that what is seen could have been no other way; what the image means is nothing other than its stated content.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

November 16, 2014

The Luminous Opacity of Things

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:40 am

… What could be richer than this extreme destitution?

This is from the essay ‘The Language of Fiction’ found in The Work of Fire by Maurice Blanchot (1949):

… The value and dignity of everyday words is to be as close as possible to nothing. Invisible, not letting anything be seen, always beyond themselves, always on this side of things, a pure awareness crosses them, so discreetly that it itself can sometimes be lacking. Everything then is nullity. And yet, understanding does not stop occurring; it even seems that it attains its point of perfection. What could be richer than this extreme destitution?

… The sentence in the story and the sentence in daily life both have the role of a paradox. To speak without words, to make oneself understood without saying anything, to reduce the heaviness of things to the agility of signs, the materiality of signs to the movement of their signification — it is this ideal of a pure communication that is at the heart of universal talk, of this way of speaking that is so prodigious, in which, while people speak without knowing what they say and understand what they do not listen to, words in their anonymous usage are no more than ghosts, absences of words, and by that itself, in the midst of the most deafening noise, empower a silence that is probably the only one in which man can rest, as long as he lives.

[line break added to make this easier to read online] The language of real existence wants to unite these two opposing characteristics: for as long as it is given us, a real thing among things, which we arrange like an experience and which we do not need to make ours in order to use, it is also an act tending to go into thin air before it is accomplished, supported only by the emptiness of a possible intention, as near as one can imagine to non-existence. A sign of the superabundance of beings, to be itself as a trace and sediment of the world, of society, and of culture, it is pure only if it is nothing. On the other hand, the sentence in the story puts us in contact with the unreality that is the essence of fiction and, as such, it aspires to become more real, to be made up of a language that is physically and formally valid, not to become the sign of beings and objects already absent (since imagined), but rather to present them to us, to make us feel them and live them through the consistency of words, the luminous opacity of things.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

November 15, 2014

Hooks at Either End

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:42 am

… Mommy, where do images come from?

This is from Journal of the Fictive Life by Howard Nemerov (1965):

… The game of the novel, that cruel initiation rite described earlier, isn’t that exactly what I have been playing with myself? By means of slender filaments of association, remote and sometimes purely grammatical linkages, paranoiac assertions of a hidden guilt in the most obvious and trivial images of daily life, I have been building up certain structures; to what do these structures correspond? Do they, for example, have the nature of self-discovery/ Or are they not, instead, discoveries of a fictive self corresponding — as in that game — to my fears about my own character rather than that character itself? Answers to questions which no one has asked, no one, that is, except myself, except myself …

… The atoms of memory have hooks at either end; the bits and pieces of a life, taken one by one and in no apparent order, or in an order arbitrarily determined, are nevertheless demonstrated to express themselves in accordance with a law, or a design, and to form some sort of coherent picture when viewed from the right distance. This picture may be utterly fictive, or metaphorical. And I may be able to put down its elements, and order these, without ever myself understanding the design that emerges … without ever myself achieving the right distance, at which the fragments would blend into a picture according to the law of their association.

[ … ]

… There have been developed, to help us through all this, immensely impressive disciplines, which mostly are related to our activities as tennis courts are related to playing tennis. But the dialectical relation still holds: the existence of tennis courts is also a guarantee of the existence of undefined spaces that are not tennis courts, and where tennis playing is unthinkable. The object of exploration is to find what is thinkable in those immensities. But very few of us are explorers, and even those few are explorers perhaps only for a few minutes during their lives; for the rest, and for the most part, the parameters of experience are synonymous with the experiences possible to be had.

… It is not my childhood that I seek, but the childhood of my art. As much as to say, Mommy, where do images come from?

My most recent previous post from Nemerov’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

November 14, 2014

By Means of Contagion

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:35 am

… the invisible underlying layers are the soil of the great communal pictures.

This is from Writings in Art by Per Kirkeby, edited by Asger Schnack (2012):

… Always claiming I do this because I want to. It’s all or nothing — because I want to. But what comes then of despair and desperation, it’s not the desire drawing to a halt, it’s just that it won’t work, it gives no result, desire has turned into furious, blushing ambition. Desire that turns into ambition is suicidal, a blissful suicide, transcending all limits.

[ … ]

… “… painting upon a wall of glass that separates him from the past. He paints what he sees. The chaos behind him grows ever more threatening, piles of bodies, nightmarish perspectives. Its images reflect in his glass. He paints over them with the ornaments he sees in the past.”

What now if he turns?

If he turns, he perhaps cannot paint. In that direction there is no glass.

[ … ]

… Painting is always layer upon layer. It is without exception a fundamental property of painted pictures, even if they seem to be done in one and the same movement. The movement has always crossed its own path somewhere. Understanding that the picture is layer upon layer is easy in the case of Picabia’s puzzle pictures and my own textural growths, but it is more difficult with pictures that are “synchronous.” By “synchronous” I mean pictures in which all the layers strive towards the same picture, where the priming and subsequent layers — glazing or otherwise — come together. Conversely, “nonsynchronous” paintings are those in which each new layer is a new picture. Like a geological order of strata with fractures and discordances. But each new layer, as furious as it may be, is always smitten and colored by what is underneath. Even in the case of blackboards, where the previous layer is physically removed, erased.

So it is with all pictures, there are many layers, and any analysis concerns for good reason almost always the last of them. The final layer in the superficial sense. But how to speak of what cannot be seen: such layers as have been painted over or blotted out? How to approach photographs, for example, which are like blackboards with layers that no longer even exist? The answer is that they exist nonetheless, are assimilated within the visible layer by means of contagion, but the problem lies in the very manner in which we approach the visible layer. The self-assured and in the worst sense of the word “analytical” approach to the pictures, seeking of standpoint. This is a method that is not evocative of the invisible layers. The evocative approach is “synthetic.” It does not immediately begin looking for results but approaches the picture with the senses, allowing the seemingly must unreasonable associations to emerge. In this way, invisible layers are brought forth to one’s self, and this is the only kind of invisible layer in the picture that allows itself to be brought forth. It is “unscientific” and seemingly uncontrollable and subjective. But the subjective element is to a large extent that which is communal; the invisible underlying layers are the soil of the great communal pictures.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

November 13, 2014

Hybridizing

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:49 am

… These resistances give us a glimpse of thinking, its form as movement against our movements.

Final post from Philosophy and the Moving Image: Refractions of Reality by John Mullarkey (2009):

… Cinema thinks but in a non-philosophical way. Or rather, cinema unphilosophizes what philosophy — and thinking — thought it was. And it does this by resisting what philosophy thinks film and so also it itself are when philosophy applies itself to film and illustrates itself through films.

… A ‘process metaphysics’ of film highlights nothing more than film’s own boundlessness and resistance to theory, especially ontological theory. Admittedly, this idea could be applied to every art (indeed, strictly speaking, it must apply to every ‘thing’ too), but film is of significance for being that art which ostensibly resists definition like few others, just because ‘it’ is so hybrid (part theatrical, part literary, part photographic, part musical, a group-manufactured commercial art-product). Film is hybridity itself, or, in Bergsonian terms, creativity in the raw: which is only to say that the very messiness of film — which is fast approaching even further levels of divergent mess through new forms of media and spectatorship — merges with the same messiness of reality.

Is that it then? Not an answer to the question at the outset but a resetting of what that question should have meant, namely, a suggestive outline (formed via the differentials of cinematic resistance to theory) that the reader must complete by refraction through his or her own imagination? As regards answering with one philosophy of filmic thinking, yes, that’s all folks. But as regards the practice of further cinema theory, perhaps there could be more.

… Alain Badiou is fond of reciting the end of Beckett’s Unnameable with respect to the paradox of eventual action (pursuing an action whose justification must be a self-fulfilling prophecy): ‘You must go on, I can’t go on, I will go on.’ With respect to philosophers, however, the only certainty is that they do always go on.

… what makes philosophy different is that its nominated problems are whichever ones refuse and refute unanimity at any one time. Out of this conflict of times we glimpse the shape that every thought has as its form; and this form is nothing less than the complexity of its own movements, which include its resistances. These resistances give us a glimpse of thinking, its form as movement against our movements. And, finally, this also gives every philosophy, including the philosophy of film, a nascent shape, created in the interference between contrary movements.

… What Rick Altman writes of cinema — that it is ‘constituted by a continuing interchange, neither beginning nor ending at any specific point’ — must also be true of philosophical thought. Philosophy is the continual interchange or refraction between itself and its other.

My most recent previous post from Mullarkey’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

November 12, 2014

Consumed and Thrown Away

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:51 am

… the ‘cult’ value of the picture was effectively abolished when photographs became so common as to be unremarkable; when they were items of passing interest with no residual value, to be consumed and thrown away.

… It was no longer a privilege to be pictured but the burden of a new class of the surveilled.

This is from the Introduction to The Burden of Representation: Essays on Photographies and Histories by John Tagg (1993):

… By 1842, exposure times had been reduced to between forty and twenty seconds, and portrait studios began to open everywhere. It is estimated that more than ninety percent of all daguerreotypes ever taken were portraits. In a ‘daguerreotypemania,’ the middling people flocked to have photographs made, soon outnumbering the factory owners, statesmen, scholars, and intellectuals amongst whom photographic portraiture was first established.

… The technical invention of flexible film and winder [in 1888] used in the Kodak was important enough, but its impact would have been as nothing if it had not coincided with an even more radical change in the conception of marketing photographic products. … Eastman decided to aim his sales promotion at a whole stratum of people who had never before taken a photograph. Eastman originated not only a camera but also a radical reconception of the boundaries of photographic practice …

… Instead of going to a professional portraitist, people without training or skill now took pictures of themselves and kept the intimate, informal or ill-composed results in family albums.

… This period in which photography underwent its second technical revolution — with dry plates, flexible film, faster lenses and handheld cameras — was also the time when the problem of reproducing photographs on an ordinary letter-set press was solved. This transformed the status of the photograph and thereby all the traditional forms of pictorial representation as dramatically as had the invention of the paper negative by Fox Talbot. With the introduction of half-tone plates in the 1880s, the entire economy of image production was recast. Unlike the photogravures and Woodburytypes which preceded them, half-tone plates at last enabled the economical and limitless reproduction of photographs in books, magazines, advertisements, and especially newspapers.

… just as the Kodak had transformed informal and family portraiture, so the illustrated papers ended the trade in reproductions of portraits of topical or celebrated public figures. No longer would it seem remarkable to possess an image of someone well-known or powerful. The era of throwaway images had begun.

What Walter Benjamin called the ‘cult’ value of the picture was effectively abolished when photographs became so common as to be unremarkable; when they were items of passing interest with no residual value, to be consumed and thrown away. This was to provoke a reaction among late nineteenth-century Pictorialists who sought, by recourse to special printing techniques imitating the effects of drawing or etching, to reinstate the ‘aura’ of the image and distinguish their work aesthetically from that of commercial and amateur photographers. But their efforts were of little avail. It was not that self-consciously artistic images like [Robert Demachy’s] Primavera contravened some essential truth of the medium, but that, in claiming the status of autonomous Art for their photography, the Pictorialists were a crew rowing out to join a sinking ship. As Walter Benjamin was to argue: ‘When the age of mechanical reproduction separated art from its base in cult, the semblance of its autonomy disappeared forever.’

It was not on the exalted heights of autonomous Art that photographic portraiture made its lasting place, but in a profane industry which furnished the cosier spaces of the bourgeois home. And not only there. Such photographs also found a place in files — in police stations, hospitals, school rooms and prisons — and in official papers of all kinds.While Pictorialists were blurring their outlines and smudging their tones, a more far-reaching pictorial revolution had taken place: the political axis of representation had been entirely reversed. It was no longer a privilege to be pictured but the burden of a new class of the surveilled.

My previous post from Tagg’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

November 11, 2014

Energy

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:48 am

… the effort [Miró] must exert to condense his sensations into pictures produces an effect to which playfulness itself is only a means.

Masson strains after … the monstrous, the epically brutal, and the blasphemous … it has something too literal about it — too many gestures and too much forcing of color, texture, and symbol.

This is from ‘Review of Exhibitions on Joan Miró and André Masson’ (1944) found in Clement Greenberg: The Collected Essays and Criticism, Vol. 1, edited by John O’Brian (1986):

Miró belongs among the living masters. He is the one new figure since the last war to have contributed importantly to the great painting tradition of our day — that which runs from Cézanne through fauvism and cubism. During the last ten years his work has maintained a very high level with a consistency neither Picasso nor Mondrian has equalled. The adjectives usually applied to Miró’s art are “amusing,” “playful,” and so forth. But they are not quite fair. Painting as great as his transcends and fuses every particular emotion; it is as heroic or tragic as it is comic. Certainly there is a mood specific to it, a playfulness which evinces the fact that Miró is comparatively happy within the limitations of his medium, that he realizes himself completely within its dominion. But the effort he must exert to condense his sensations into pictures produces an effect to which playfulness itself is only a means. This is “pure painting” if there ever was any, conceived in terms of paint, thought through and realized in no other terms.

Miro_constellation-the-morning-star
Joan Miró, Constellation: the Morning Star, 1940 [image from WikiArt]

… Picasso is more ambitious, more Promethean; he tries to reconcile great contradictions, to bend, mold, and lock forms into each other, to annihilate negative space by filling it with dense matter, and to make the undeniable two-dimensionality of the canvas voluminous and heavy. Miró is satisfied simply to punctuate, inclose, and interpret the cheerful emptiness of the plane surface. Never has there been painting which stayed more strictly within the dimensions, yet created so much variety and excitement of surface.

André Masson has been an ambitious painter from the beginning, one who accepts and tries to solve the most difficult problems proposed by art in this age. Very little he has done is without interest; yet little so far seems capable of lasting. There is some lack in Masson of touch or “feel” — a lack dangerous to an artist who relies, or professes to rely, so much on automatism or pure spontaneity. A line either too Spencerian or too splintery weakens his drawings; an insistence upon multiplying and complicating planes, while combining two such color gamuts as violet-blue-green-yellow and brown-mauve-red-orange, renders his painting turgid, overheated, and discordant. Energy is dissipated in all directions.

Masson_in-the-tower-of-sleep
André Masson, In the Tower of Sleep, 1938 [image from WikiArt]

Masson strains after that same terribilità which haunts Picasso, is obsessed by a similar nostalgia for the monstrous, the epically brutal, and the blasphemous. But being nostalgia, it has something too literal about it — too many gestures and too much forcing of color, texture, and symbol.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

November 10, 2014

On Its Head

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:43 am

… It shook the faith in external, homogenizing criteria that seek to prescribe or ascribe what art is.

This is from Art as Existence: The Artist’s Monograph and Its Project (2006) by Gabriele Guercio:

… [Bernard Berenson] objects to a linear, “botanical” view of the artist and expresses his belief in the artist’s unfolding of the creative potential of a “temperament” perennially exposed to unpredictable influences:

All we can say is that given a certain temperament plus a certain mental, emotional, and manual training, the product (the artist) will tend to act and to express himself in a way that is determined. But his training does not cease; he keeps coming in contact with other influences, each one of which tends to modify the product that was the adolescent artist. And the nature of the new influences … is what we cannot possibly foresee.

Zola in particular believed that a work of art is “a corner of nature seen through a temperament.” He regarded the making of art as a birthing process, and artists as individuals who give their flesh and blood, mind and heart, to their creations.

… Whereas Vasari’s Lives conveyed a concern with rules and canons of art, the issue at stake for the nineteenth-century monograph was not whether the works under analysis belong to the category of art and fulfill the requirements of artistry, but rather whether one could grasp a process of coming into being.

… Because of its focus on singularity, the monograph carried the potential of turning the study of art on its head. It could throw into doubt any number of more rigid constructions. It contained points of excess, instability, and differentiation that could not be so easily squared. It exposed as limited and arbitrary the assumption that artworks can be better evaluated when classified according to schools and countries and seen as parts of a linear, chronological history. It indicated that the construction of art historical sequences and genealogies among artists might not be enough to unravel the artistic phenomena. It shook the faith in external, homogenizing criteria that seek to prescribe or ascribe what art is.

My most recent previous post from Guercio’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

November 9, 2014

By a Certain Inability

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:44 am

… the most natural things had suddenly begun to surprise him, as if a lack had been brought about in him that he sought to answer …

This is from the essay ‘The Paradox of Aytré’ found in The Work of Fire by Maurice Blanchot (1949):

… It sometimes happens to a man that he feels an emptiness in himself, a defect, a lack of something decisive, whose absence becomes, little by little, unbearable. In a short story, “Aytré Who Loses the Habit,” Jean Paulhan tells the tale of a soldier to whom this happens. Aytré is a sergeant and, with an adjutant who tells the story of the expedition, he leads a column of 300 Senegalese alongside men of the Fourth Colonial, across Madagascar. Through the adjutant’s laziness, Aytré is the one to whom the care of keeping the log of the journey falls. There is nothing extraordinary in this log: we arrive, we leave, chickens cost seven sous; we stock up on medicine; our wives receive magazines, etc. As the adjutant says, that smells of drudgery. But, starting from a certain day, after the arrival at Ambositra, the writing changes, slightly, no doubt, in appearance, but, on careful reading, in a surprising and overwhelming way.

[line break added to make this easier to read online] The explanations rendered become longer. Aytré begins to go into his ideas on colonization; he describes the women’s hairstyles, their locks joined together on each side of their ears like a snail; he speaks of strange landscapes; he goes on to the character of the Malagaches; and so on. In short, the log is useless. What has happened? Aytré has obviously lost the habit. It is as if the most natural things had suddenly begun to surprise him, as if a lack had been brought about in him that he sought to answer by unusual moves, an agitation of thoughts, words, images. And the adjutant is all the more ready to realize that he recognizes in his own uneasiness the trace of a similar predicament. The key to the enigma is easy to grasp. In Ambositra, Aytré met a Mme. Chalinargues, whom he had known some months earlier and whom jealousy pushes him to kill; as for the adjutant, he prepares to keep a sum of money that the same person had handed over to him for her family.

… Until then, [Aytré] was enough for himself; now he is no longer enough, and he speaks to reestablish, by words and by a call to others, the adequacy whose disappearance he feels. Unfortunately, much worse must happen to him. For language is also struck: all the thick layering of words, the sedimentation of comfortable meanings that move off, detach themselves, become a slippery and dangerous slope. The threat spreads to anyone who allows himself to answer it. The writer does not always begin with the horror of a crime that makes him feel his precariousness in the world, but he can hardly think of beginning other than by a certain inability to speak and write, by a loss of words, by the very absence of the means of which he has an overabundance. Thus it is indispensable for him to feel at first that he has nothing to say.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

November 8, 2014

The Idea of Genesis

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:48 am

… Isn’t it rather that symbolism is insufficiently randomized to give account of the real world in its immense complexity? That symbolism acts as a reassurance that the world is small, accountable, inter-referential, echoing, inwardly allusive, the world of childhood where what happened was marvelous or terrible but bounded by the home, the park, the family?

This is from Journal of the Fictive Life by Howard Nemerov (1965):

… The first principle of this writing is that everything is relevant; accidents turn up and later, under close reading prove their right to be here by getting themselves woven into the fabric. The meaning? Well, it may never have a meaning. But the design is constantly making itself over as it draws new materials into its ambit, under its spell.

… I began under a pseudonym, Felix Ledger, whom I had invented as a novelist in a novel and written two chapters or more about, twelve or thirteen years ago. But after a single page in which this person tried to talk in a literary way about novels, he got stuck, and when he picked up the subject again after a lapse of a couple of weeks in despair of ever doing anything again, he began talking about his relation with the art of writing.

… he was constantly divagating into technical considerations, talking about money, justifying himself (myself), being ‘literary,’ and generally altogether a bit too clever. Then he began having ‘ideas’ for novels, or stories. But only for a few days was he able to convince me that he was really Henry James who would really write the stories; I was soon enough able to see that these stories were being invented solely for purposes of obfuscation, and to say, in effect, that a person so very clever as Felix Ledger would never have to write a story at all in order to be loved, admired, and highly paid. Moreover, by inventing stories which I was not going to write, he was causing me some embarrassment.

… The principle that everything is relevant, simply because it comes into my mind, remains the principle of this work, but a principle which must get its justification daily so far as this is possible. It would appear, for example, that my dream-life [descriptions of which this book has many, many pages] is pretending to cooperate in the adventure by supplying an abundance of materials, but really trying to put a stop to it by giving me more than I can handle in a working day.

[ … ]

… An hour later, I return to see if I can’t see this more slowly, spread it out a bit more fully.

I said before that symbolism was ‘suspiciously randomized'; this did not quite catch the thought. Isn’t it rather that symbolism is insufficiently randomized to give account of the real world in its immense complexity? That symbolism acts as a reassurance that the world is small, accountable, inter-referential, echoing, inwardly allusive, the world of childhood where what happened was marvelous or terrible but bounded by the home, the park, the family? The world of religion, too, where what happened was marvelous or terrible but bounded by the situation of the divine drama.

… Doubtless the philosophers can explain (away) such strange constatations of fact, these little mad galaxies far out in space where some intellectual divinity is fooling with the idea of genesis.

My most recent previous post from Nemerov’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

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