"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

28 March 2006

Woundedness and Love

Gardner again, from the book's final chapter:

"Art begins in a wound, an imperfection -- a wound inherent in the nature of life itself -- and is an attempt either to learn to live with the wound or to heal it. It is the pain of the wound which impels the artist to do his work, and it is the universality of woundedness in the human condition which makes the work of art significant [. . .]."

"True art's divine madness is shot through with love: love of the good, a love proved not by some airy and abstract high-mindedness but by active celebration of whatever good or trace of good can be found by a quick and compassionate eye in this always corrupt and corruptible but god-freighted world. [. . .] The business of civilization is to pay attention, remembering what is central, remembering that we live or die by the artist's vision, sane or cracked."


Cindy said...

Sounds like another book to put on The List.

Megan said...

I love the phrase "always corrupt and corruptible but god-freighted world." What a fascinating tapestry of words he weaves! This one's going on MY list, too.

What does Gardner mean by "divine madness," and in what way do we live or die by the artist's vision?

Fieldfleur said...

Intriguing stuff. Thanks. Hope all is well!