Wallace Stevens: Images and Judgments

By John J. Enck | Go to book overview

5 AND JUDGMENTS

It was from the point of view of another subtlety that Klee could write: "But he is one chosen that today comes near to the secret places where original law fosters all evolution. And what artist would not establish himself there where the organic center of all movement in time and space-- which he calls the mind or heart of creation--determines every function." Conceding that this sounds a bit like sacerdotal jargon . . .

WALLACE STEVENS [174c]

THE QUESTION OF FAITH AND POETRY comes and goes; one had better say that it never departs but that it infrequently lives as a mild boarder and usually tries to rule the household. Faith assumes varied guises and interpretations, and, when talking about it in connection with poetry, one encounters confused prejudices; if one ignores it, one becomes eclectic or sentimental, or both. The history of literature and its immediate areas enlists its industrious chroniclers, but the flowering and decline of faith attract more partisans. Anyone putting the two accounts together generally produces a tract for the times with most of the written words from the past subject to impressment. Problems will remain as long as one asks the nearly inevitable questions. Since Stevens has cavalierly dismissed the past and its shibboleths so often, the moderately attractive temptation of following his example presents itself. Such a procedure would leave him largely in the accustomed position mistakenly assigned him, that of writing and feeling in a vacuum or private preserve. To connect him

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Wallace Stevens: Images and Judgments
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Acknowledgments x
  • Contents xiii
  • 1 - Images 3
  • 2 - On the Harmonium 43
  • 3 - On a Blue Guitar 94
  • 4 - On Old Lutheran Bells 145
  • 5 - And Judgments 198
  • Notes 246
  • Index 253
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