let’s invent

Let’s invent a word so haunted, so transformational–so transitional–that the moment you type it your soul is sucked through it & into communication with & exile from everything. “Everything” being the truth about the world, in the sense that it is the world. “The truth about the world” being that it’s everything in the world–& though you were always in the world, now you are in there with it, which is a different matter altogether. It is not a truth you wanted to know, this quality of the world being able to lie alongside itself & yet remain a single thing. But you spoke the word. You turned the key.

& in pursuit of the argument in the post immediately below, two quotes from Robert Bly’s classic “A Wrong-Turning in American Poetry”.

He opposes Eliot to Lorca–

    The phrase “objective correlative” is astoundingly passionless. For Lorca there is no time to think of a cunning set of circumstances that would carry the emotion in a dehydrated form to which the reader need only add water.

He calls for an image which,

    being the natural speech of the imagination, can not be drawn from or inserted back into the real world

As a teenager I always thought of this as the effort to suggest something which can’t be suggested otherwise, “an animal,” as Bly calls it, “native to the imagination. Like Bonnefoy’s ‘interior sea lighted by turning eagles’, it cannot be seen in real life.” What’s the point of imagism otherwise ? –in Eliot’s formulation it risks becoming nothing more than a method of generating posh similes, a way of somehow trammeling the imagination, cleaning it up & putting it to work on behalf of the literal.

A fantasy is not a promissory note, cashable in the bank of the real. A fantasy should attempt to stand for something that isn’t there; somewhere in the turbulence generated by that attempt, it should imply all the things that are.

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