The Redemption, you might say, is one of the consequences of the interpenetration of divine and human things. Mandelstam (in "Pushkin and Scriabin") sketches it as the act which "saves" the world, sets it fundamentally right : and since this has been definitively accomplished, once and for all, there is no need to re-invent the wheel, so to speak : the artist can simply be grateful for what has been done, and set to work (playfully) to celebrate that redeemed world.

It's a funny idea, easy to criticize from several angles. (There's a kind of underlying classicism to it, which maybe M. soaked up from Pushkin, Gumilev, Annensky, Soloviev... something Petersburgian. I don't know.)

But if we accept that there might be a grain of truth in it, what follows? If we say that the central dispute in American poetry has been between Memory and Invention, what would be the effect of Mandelstam's formula on this situation?

In order to accept or understand the notion of an act of divine Redemption in human history, we would have to be able, logically, to reconcile passing human experience with a kind of Absolute. Time with Eternity - the pleroma, the "fulness of Time". (Sounds like T.S. Eliot a little bit. I am curious now to read an Eliot biography - find out something about his reliigous conversion(? or return) in the 20s. There's Berryman, too, toward the end of his life...)

Perhaps an intellectual reconciliation of history with eternity would lay the groundwork for, would be one of the contributing factors toward, a reconciliation of memory and invention in art. Tradition and the new. The creative Now with its matrix, its context in Memory.

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