Log24

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday July 24, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 AM
The Church of St. Frank

See yesterday’s entries for
some relevant quotations
from Wallace Stevens.

Further quotations for what
Marjorie Garber, replying to
a book review by
Frank Kermode, has called
the Church of St. Frank“–

Frank Kermode on

Harold Bloom:

“He has… a great, almost
selfish passion for poetry,
and he interprets difficult
texts as if there were no
more important activity
in the world, which may
be right.”

Page 348 of Wallace Stevens:
The Poems of Our Climate
,
by Harold Bloom
(1977, Cornell U. Press):

“The fiction of the leaves is now Stevens’ fiction…. Spring, summer, and autumn adorn the rock of reality even as a woman is adorned, the principle being the Platonic one of copying the sun as source of all images….

… They are more than leaves
              that cover the barren rock….

They bear their fruit    
             so that the year is known….

If they are more than leaves, then they are no longer language, and the leaves have ceased to be tropes or poems and have become magic or mysticism, a Will-to-Power over nature rather than over the anteriority of poetic imagery.”

For more on magic, mysticism, and the Platonic “source of all images,” see Scott McLaren on “Hermeticism and the Metaphysics of Goodness in the Novels of Charles Williams.” McLaren quotes Evelyn Underhill on magic vs. mysticism:

The fundamental difference between the two is this: magic wants to get, mysticism wants to give […] In mysticism the will is united with the emotions in an impassioned desire to transcend the sense-world in order that the self may be joined by love to the one eternal and ultimate Object of love […] In magic, the will unites with the intellect in an impassioned desire for supersensible knowledge. This is the intellectual, aggressive, and scientific temperament trying to extend its field of consciousness […] (Underhill 84; see also 178ff.)

— Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness. New York: Dutton, 1911.

For more on what Bloom calls the “Will-to-Power over nature,” see Faust in Copenhagen and the recent (20th- and 21st-century) history of Harvard University. These matters are also discussed in “Log24 – Juneteenth through Midsummer Night.”

For more on what Underhill calls “the intellectual, aggressive, and scientific temperament trying to extend its field of consciousness,” see the review, in the August 2007 Notices of the American Mathematical Society, of a book by Douglas Hofstadter– a writer on the nature of consciousness— by magician Martin Gardner.

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