Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The ideal in twilight...

Vignette for Thaliad
by Clive Hicks-Jenkins (Wales)
The time we are given

Will they say of our time in the arts that people chose surface glitter over the glow of transfiguration, shallows over deep-sea depths, flat screens over multiple dimensions? It is harder for artists to achieve in eras when the trivial and the ephemeral crowd the culture, and when artists often run after such things?

Beauty

Achieved beauty in art breeds more beauty. In some sense, Shakespeare was the glory shining out from his wonderful contemporaries.

Foolishness

Foolishness, I embrace you. I marry you. I let you fly free and then return like a boomerang bird to my hand. I am willing. I put on the Fool's mask and see.

Response

The sun burns; the moon reflects light back. So the reader or viewer or listener and the artist stand, each shining at the other, making a circle, a bond, a marriage.

Kingdom

I choose to believe that inside the great world of what is called the arts, a kingdom stands. I aspire to be a citizen, with all the rights and privileges thereof.

Travel in time and space

Past the limits of desire. Past understanding.

Transformation

The most potent action of art is a kind of lifetime's self-transformation as beautiful creations pour through the artist, leaving a residue in the soul. Art is not just about making something outside oneself; it is about soul-making. It is the transformation that comes to the willing soul when power sweeps through... Just as prophetic utterance changes the prophet, art changes its maker. How hard is it for such things to happen when most no longer believe in the strange, intangible soul?

6 comments:

  1. A thought-provoking post, Marly, and one that repays reading to catch all the nuances.

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  2. Ah, thoughts while the dusk was washing in...

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  3. I love the notion of art as "soul-making."

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  4. Had a sudden impulse to write a nonfiction book. But after a post, it may be passing...

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  5. Do most people no longer believe in the soul?
    As many nations lose religiosity, the idea of the soul does appear to creep back, unfettered.

    I like to think of art making (in all its guises) as being a communication between the soul and being alive : )

    And I like your posting here, Marly!

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  6. Oh, I dunno--I often see negative mentions.

    A great goal of art is to possess a kind of life...

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.