Monday, June 13, 2011

A "crisis ... of a cognitive kind," the "imperfect" Paris, and a return of the oyster

I ran across a Harold Bloom quote, utterly irresistible because true: "a crisis, particularly of a cognitive kind, need be no more than a crossing point, a turning ... that takes you down a path that proves rather more your own than you would have anticipated." When that crisis comes, and it will, and it has, and it does ... you are no longer moored to anything you know ... that's when you find your way, even if it doesn't feel so "true" to begin with ... and Bloom goes on to say that "easier satisfaction" won't do it ... because there is "a more delayed and difficult reward" coming. "That difficulty," he says, is "an authentic mark of originality that must seem eccentric until it usurps psychic space and establishes itself as a fresh center" (from Ruin the Sacred Truths).  Artists need to find that "fresh center." This is a beautiful affirmation of the taking of chances in life.

Bloom has written extensively about the poet Wallace Stevens, and I found a poem by him, today, as well, one I had not really "read" before, "The Poems of Our Climate." Looking at a bowl of red and white carnations, floating in a circle of water in a "low and round" bowl, "The day itself /Is simplified" but even that "world of clear water, brilliant-edged," is not enough ... "Still one would want more, one would need more," because we would come up against "the never-resting mind," and have to see that "The imperfect is our paradise." The simply beautiful becomes, even in the hands of an appreciative poet, "flawed words and stubborn sounds."  Because, as Stein and Picasso agreed, as the artist creates that "path" or "fresh center" (that Bloom talks about), it will look "difficult" or "eccentric" or even, as Stein and Picasso said, that original work will look "ugly." Time will allow the audience to see it for what it is. Imitators may come along and make beautiful copies ... but the original will always be "imperfect."

And then there is Woody Allen, whose newest film, "Midnight in Paris," is simply wonderful. And it is about the perfect lure of Paris and its terribly "imperfect" present moment ... do see it.

And then there is the oyster. I am still working on the next drawing, so here is an oyster-rock, waiting:

No comments:

Post a Comment