"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

19 July 2007

True Art

More from John Gardner's On Moral Fiction:

"True art is a conduit between body and soul, between feeling unabstracted and abstraction unfelt."


St. Kevin & the Blackbird said...

Beth: I like the blend that art strives for here; it puts me in mind of the need for roots. Belonging and reflection are not like water and oil, but weave together the very fabric of human experience, each inseparable from the other. The human spirit makes its advances by reckoning with both. The Incarnation teaches us that we are to embrace goodness not as a mere abstraction, above and beyond our particular attachments, but as part of our own. We love the good by loving our own. But if our connection to the good is rooted our particular way of life, then how can we remain connected to it when we are alienated, as we sometimes are and should be, from our particular world? No easy answers to this question. To trivialize the need for roots is to forget that building a future requires thinking within a given way of life. To exaggerate the need for roots, patriotism in overdrive, is to blind oneself to the internal contradictions of feeling and its failed aspirations, none of which are recognizable without some measure of abstraction and critical reflection on our very way of life.
Sorry if this sounds too philosophical - these themes are very much top of mind in my thinking these days.

alaiyo said...

Thanks for your comments, Robin; very thought-provoking.