I think of Wallace Stevens as pondering along some such path as this...

The mind is creative, the imagination is primordial, originary - since experience is unavoidably subjective : the world we know is the world as we see and experience it.

Thus the vivid, bracing, inventive, concrete perception of poetry offers reality made new - re-shaped anew (or, reality in a new light). Thus the "supreme fiction" displaces the worn-out myths which have congealed into doctrinal belief.

Poetry in this sense is representative of art & artist generally. Which are, in turn, representative of free creative conscious perception generally.

This is very basically the "standard model" of the Artist, since Emerson, the Romantics, etc. And I accept it, I agree with it, for what it's worth : a working credo for the nourishing of creative talents & aims. But it ain't the whole story.

Interesting juxtaposed reading these days : Pope Benedict on St. Bonaventure (Theology of History of St. Bonaventure) on the one hand; a critical study of Finnegans Wake on the other (Joyce, Dante and the poetics of literary relations, by Lucia Boldrini).

I have the feeling Bonaventure would have found FW out of court (even though Joyce is so deeply fascinated with both Christianity and the notion of creative world-making).

Joyce is awfully deep & subtle, but he seems to shape the book in a sort of circular, "Buddhist" (or Hindu) framework : life circles around & around like a river forever & ever. For Bonaventure, the assertion of "the eternity of the world" was one of the primal marks of Aristotle's pagan error. For Bonaventure, the world is a creation, and history has a singular plot (even if B's version of that history has a certain circular quality about it : history is the story of the world being sent forth from God, pivoting on Christ, and returning to God).

I've got my own inklings about this, which I won't go into now...

But getting back to the "Stevens" bit above... I feel more & more on kind of a Nicholas of Cusa/Byzantine tack, with the central notion of the human/divine imago... that is, there are human creators (with maximum freedom) & yet there is also Creation - these 2 perplexibly & unaccountably meshed (like 2 circles) together... & there is the Event at the center...

Christianity : revelation (the event) trumps reason.

Poetry : the actual (drama) trumps abstraction (discourse).

There's a kind of parallel or analogy there... (worked out in History...)

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