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Archive for May, 2013

I had just finished reading a collection of short stories by Mark Samuels and though I was able to appreciate them, being fine examples of the weird tradition in the current literature of this kind, I cannot say that I enjoyed them particularly.  Yet threaded throughout were a number of well considered thoughts wonderfully expressed.  One “pseudo excerpt” in particular, the author having attributed it to Thomas De Quincey, is still rattling around my head.  It runs thus:

“We continually regard what is miraculous as merely commonplace by virtue of extreme familiarity.”

In short, for those in search of the miraculous: look no further but rather, Look!

The author is of course concerned with language, something that is suggestive of great mystery; a proof, he says, that this cosmos is not easily explained!  It’s occurred to me that, perhaps coeval to speech, was the desire to make pictures.  Between what is written and what is painted there has always been a relationship; a constant since antiquity if I am not mistaken.   It was in those days the poet who determined in what manner a thing ought to be represented – its secondary detailing and embellishment alone being left to the creative powers of the artist to suggest.

I believe that the concerns of both Artist and Author are closely united.  Each unveils in a manner appropriate to their mode of expression a facet of the common place heightened to the imminence and reality of experience renewed; a peak experience as Colin Wilson terms it, divested from the short sighted preoccupations of immediate physical and emotional concerns.

Words and Pictures help to cultivate our curiosity and wonder without which, the world slips into a boring and benighted procession of catalogued forms pointlessly self repeating.  Not only is our will sapped when an unbalanced view of this kind prevails but we soon find our depth of experience prey to the emptiness of promised novelty and distraction.

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