I wonder if there's not something overly passive in Paul Fry's concept of the "ostensive" moment as the defining characteristic of lyric poetry. I'm not done with the book yet, & I know he has a chapter specifically addressing "negative theology" and quietism in relation to his concept - so I'm probably jumping the gun.) It's as if the political/controversial stakes have become so intense and byzantine in theoretical-historicist literary crit, that eventually some such notion had to be found just to let off the pressure (without becoming, heaven forbid, "a-political"!).

Guess I would tend to think of humankind as naturally, genetically, political - in the sense of creating adaptive orders of social life on earth; and that the a-human or pre-human ("ostensive") reality of non-referential stasis, or "mere being", will always be subject to human adaptation (even if its source, its paradoxical/cthonic power, is non-human).

In my view, the charming stasis or equilibrium of lyric poetry stems from the same root as pastoral - a "peaceable kingdom" hidden within the present & representing a (future) better state of things on earth. It may indeed be a mingling of the human and the non-human, or the human and "nature"; but I wouldn't equate such a state with non-meaning, or some transcendence of, or vacation from, meaning itself. This is too reductive. This state ("quietude?"), along with everything else, will not evade interpretation. Everything is interpretable.

I think one of Fry's main points is that lyric poetry humbles the pride of intellect (interpretation) - restores the balance of actuality and our names for it. I would agree with this (though he might not agree with my spin on his position...). But one can imagine a humbled intellect still active, still interpreting,, still "figuring out" that ultimate global Day of rest.

(& actually, Fry's passage on Virgil's bees (in the Georgics) presents such an image of "active rest". Maybe there's more on this in the chapters I haven't got to yet.)

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