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Poetic Thinking 2016 | January 19, 2020

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Posts By Harry Desmond

The poetic as regenerative force

March 10, 2016 | 4

I was struck by the following sentence from A Lover’s Discourse, which I think may have something to say about poetic thinking, or at least poetic language:

I continue to fool myself as to the effects of language: I do … Read More

The Seventh Seal as existentialist text

March 3, 2016 | 10

In Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman, Paisley Livingston addresses the question of whether cinema can be said to do philosophy, and if so by what means. I am immediately put ill at ease by his definition of philosophy, which seems unfairly skewed … Read More

The Knight

March 3, 2016 |

What are the tropes or models we might use to understand the character of Antonius Block? Here, perhaps, are a few ways in.

Taking cue from our discussion of Kierkegaard, a good place to begin may be with the Knight … Read More

On Interpretation

February 22, 2016 |

Prompted by Amir’s opening comments on Friday, as well as our discussion of photography and the fiction/non-fiction dichotomy in Didion’s book, I’ve been thinking about the role of interpretation in poetic thinking, and in particular the question of when or … Read More

Musings on death

February 19, 2016 | 1

It is said that those who fear death secretly fear life. They fear, perhaps, the end of the possibility of life — the point at which that potential finally becomes unrealised forever, always already unrealised. But those who grasp life, … Read More

The birth of the overman: a sonnet

February 11, 2016 | 3






how could you wish to become new unless you had first become ashes!         — Zarathustra

This is the life that should not be for you. Though you did everything … Read More

Interactive Bosch

February 10, 2016 | 4

Thought I’d share this nifty interactive exhibit of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, relevant perhaps both in terms of our discussion of painting and also of the novel artistic possibilities opened up by the internet. Interesting to me … Read More

Harris –> Barthes

January 21, 2016 |

The discussion of Harris’ “I love your work” (and in particular the question of whether the women were being objectified, exploited or demeaned) reminded me of the interesting perspective of Roland Barthes in Mythologies (“striptease”). Barthes argues that the craft … Read More

Heidegger –> Stevens

January 21, 2016 | 3

Apropos of Heidegger’s claim that art is the origin of the (“meaninged”) universe in which we operate, the following by Wallace Stevens (Anecdote of the Jar):

I placed a jar in Tennessee, And round it was, upon a hill. It … Read More

Reflections on Paradise and the Fall

January 13, 2016 |

We know, we die; such is the incontrovertible basis of the myth of the Fall. But the poet of Genesis saw something further, that our compulsion to knowledge is tinged with sadness. Indeed, our knowing and having to know are … Read More