reading an Elder Olson essay on Aristotle's Poetics. Olson was part of the so-called Chicago School, a 50s grouping with a little different point of view from that of the New Critics.

When I started Stubborn Grew, I was reading another study of the Poetics, which argued that the form of Aristotle's text resembles that of a tragic plot, and as such, is designed to do what it describes, setting up sort of a reflexive, self-mirroring framework.

This influenced the opening of Stubborn, in that the introductory sketches simultaneously reflect on poetry-making, on the one hand, and begin to act out the orphic pattern of the plot, on the other - sort of a hall of mirrors. "Bluejay" : the mime (schtick) of a mimic. So the mimicking narrator and "Bluejay" are somewhat like Russian dolls-within-dolls (the narrator mimicking a "black-talking" Bluejay, himself a mimic).

This Olson essay I'm reading outlines 3 steps: the instinctual pleasure/learning we derive from imitation (mimicry, schtick); the moral or ethical disciplines by which imitation is molded (the depiction of "good & bad" characters & situations); & finally the experience of made things (poems, dramas) as good-in-themselves (their intrinsic aesthetic value - a discovery which, to some degree, circles back around to the original instinctual springs).

I suppose, ideally, there's an equilibrium to these three levels. What is the ethical root or motive which fuses with the aesthetic goal? What would Ovid on the Black Sea, or Dante in exile, or Walt in the hospital, speak to the powers that be (as of 11/3)? - to all the feuding, angry factions?

Another Olson, in another Ovid spot... ("Watch-House Point")

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