Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The mind wants to expand into the limitless and universal where everything flows into a stream of feelings which spring from simple musical thoughts and which otherwise would die away unheeded. This is harmony, this is what speaks from my symphonies, the sweet blend of manifold forms flows along in a stream to its destination. There indeed one feels something eternal, infinite, something never wholly comprehensible is in all that is of the mind, and although in my works I always feel that I have succeeded, yet at the last kettle-drum with which I have driven home to my audience my pleasure, my musical conviction, like a child I feel starving once again in me an eternal hunger that but a moment before seemed to have been assuaged...
Friday, December 9, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
That was the time of innocence; words burst upon me, unencumbered by trivial or portentous association; words were their springlike selves, fresh with Eden's dew, as they flew out of the air. They made their own original associations as they sprang and shone. The words "Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross," were as haunting to me, who did not know then what a cock-horse was nor cared a damn where Banbury Cross might be, as, much later, were such lines as John Donne's, "Go and catch a falling star, Get with child a mandrake root," which also I could not understand when I first read them.
And as I read more and more, and it was not all verse, by any means, my love for the real life of words increased until I knew that I must live with them and in them always. - Dylan Thomas
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
It is the very one who wants to write down his dream who is obliged to be extremely wide awake. . .
Whoever says exactness and style invokes the opposite of a dream; whoever meets these in a work must presuppose in its author all the labor and time he needed to resist the permanent dissipation of his thoughts. . . And the more restless and fugitive the prey one covets, the more presence of mind and power of will one needs to make it eternally present in its eternally fleeting aspect. - Paul Valéry
Monday, November 14, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
"None of the great things in life have anything to do with making your living."
Late Stevens 1
"It gives a man character as a poet to have daily contact with a job. I doubt whether I've lost a thing by leading an exceedingly regular and disciplined life."
Late Stevens 2
"A writer faces a point of honor that concerns him as a writer. He must apparently choose between starvation and that form of publishing (or being published) in which it is possible to make money. His problem is how to support himself while engaged in the most honorable capacity. There is only one answer. He must support himself in some other way."
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Giacometti was a great modern artist partly because of his ability to create a strange and self-conscious iconography of the body. His figures were filled with iconic dignity, a stillness, a solitariness, a sense of a dense inner life, almost a spiritual life. Yet they were made using what seemed the minimum of means.
- Colm Tóibín
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
To T.W. Higginson June 7, 1862Emily Dickinson’s religion was Poetry. As she went on through veils of connection to the secret alchemy of Deity, she was less and less interested in temporal blessing. The decision not to publish her poems in her lifetime, to close up an extraordinary amount of work, is astonishing. Far from being the misguided modesty of an oppressed female ego, it is a consummate Calvinist gesture of self-assertion by a poet with faith to fling election loose across the incandescent shadows of futurity.
I smile when you suggest that I delay “to publish” – that being foreign to my thought, as Firmament to Fin –
If fame belonged to me, I could not escape her – if she did not, the longest day would pass me on the chase – and the approbation of my Dog, would forsake me – then – My Barefoot-Rank is better –
Perry Miller said that Jonathan Edwards’ understanding of behavioral psychology, as evidenced by his careful documentation of the process of Conversion, anticipates American empiricism and William James. I say that Emily Dickinson took both his legend and his learning, tore them free from his own humorlessness and the dead weight of doctrinaire Calvinism, then applied the freshness of his perception to the dead weight of American poetry as she knew it. – Susan Howe
Friday, September 16, 2011
- Mark Edmundson
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
To use Vico's terminology, the metaphor is delightful because "it is more known by the hearer than presented by the speaker."
Absurdist literature, which also contains high levels of cognitive dissonance, produces the same effect. Psychologists asked a panel of undergraduates to read a modified version of Franz Kafka's short story "The Country Doctor," a mightmarish tale of a physician who makes a bizarre house call on a sick boy and his family. One group read a version in which the narrative gradually broke down, ended abruptly with a series of non sequiturs, and was accompanied by bizarre and totally unrelated illustrations. Another group read a parallel tale that made conventional sense, contained no non sequiturs, and was accompanied by illustrations related to the story.
Researchers then gave both groups sixty different letter strings, each of which was made up of six to nine letters, and told them that half the strings contained a pattern. Their task: identify the pattern and all the letter strings containing it. Those who had read the more absurd version of "The Country Doctor" were almost twice as accurate in their answers as those who had read the conventional story.
The researchers concluded that the incongruities in illogical stories, like the incongruities in jokes, spur the brain to look for patters it might not otherwise detect. - James Geary
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
What is the result of looking at a lyric such as Ashbery's for a reader who believes, with Stevens, that artworks help us to live our lives? Because a poet wants above all to make, in each effort, something unique and irreplaceable, he would not like to have all his works collected together as conveyors of his ethical sense. It is precisely the individual drive of each artwork, capable of "distorting" the original moral urgency of the artist, that makes moral paraphrase so difficult. Ashbery, writing on R.B. Kitaj, says that the graphic artist is "constantly scrutinizing all the chief indicators - poetry, pictures, politics, sex, the attitudes of people he sees, and the auras of situations they bring with them - in an effort to decode the cryptogram of the world" [Reported Sightings, 308].
For the poet, who is no less observant than the graphic artist or the novelist, but for whom the social order has to be conveyed in words rather than through painted images, dramatic scenes, or the interaction of characters, poetry is a place for the decoding of the resistant semiotics of the contemporary. As the poet's mental accumulation meets the compelling law of form, it is regularized from unintelligibility into a shape that seems "right." The morality of this act, as Wallace Stevens said, consists in rejecting proposed forms that merely "console / Or sanctify." Forms that "console" or "sanctify" are concessions to a nostalgic sentimentality. Parmigianino - and Ashbery after him - refuses the consoling or sanctifying concession implicitly present in transcriptive mimesis, while nonetheless allowing recognizable figuration and emotional intimacy to play dominant roles in his art.
In praising Chardin, Ashbery once wrote of the "magnificent progress" possible as the artist "help[s] the spirit to take a new step":
If one takes the down-to-earth as point of departure and neither makes nor wastes any effort in trying to rise to an exalted or splendid level, every effort, every contribution of the artistic genius goes into transfiguring the manner of execution, changing the language, and helping the spirit to take a new step, thus constituting magnificent progress. [Reported Sightings, 47]Part of the "down-to-earth," for poets, is fostering within the lyric poem a climate of mutual trust between poet and reader. Ashbery here stands between his predecessor in the past, the Francesco he both summons and dismisses, and the fictive reader of his own self-portrait in verse. He addresses both of his invisible listeners in tones of intimate comprehension and sympathy. Ashbery's invisible listeners - "Francesco" in fantasy and ourselves in reality - animate the poem from private meditation on an artwork into colloquy with a corresponding other, from the solitude of the lyric chamber to an imagination twinning us with someone more like us than we had imagined. Poems constitute their invisible listeners as persons who understand, who will complete the expressive circuit of thought and language initiated by an artwork, and who will engage in the imagined ethical modeling of an ideal mutuality. - Helen Vendler
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
That's the way it goes. For many weeks you have been exploring what seemed to be a profitable way of doing. You discovered that there was a fork in the road, so first you followed what seemed to be the less promising, or at any rate the more obvious, of the two branches until you felt that you had a good idea of where it led. Then you returned to investigate the more tangled way, and for a time its intricacies seemed to promise a more complex and therefore a more practical goal for you, one that could be picked up in any number of ways so that all its faces or applications could be thoroughly scrutinized. And in so doing you began to realize that the two branches were joined together again, farther ahead; that this place of joining was indeed the end, and that it was the very place you set out from, whose intolerable mixture of reality and fantasy had started you on the road which has now come full circle. It has been an absorbing puzzle. (from Three Poems)
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Just girt me for the onset with Eternity,
When breath blew back,
And on the other side
I heard recede the disappointed tide!
Therefore, as One returned, I feel
Odd secrets of the line to tell!
Some Sailor, skirting foreign shores –
Some pale Reporter, from the awful doors
Before the Seal!
Next time, to stay!
Next time, the things to see
By Ear unheard,
Unscrutinized by Eye –
Next time, to tarry,
While the Ages steal –
Slow tramp the Centuries,
And the Cycles wheel!
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
I would have placed emphasis on the subversive character of prose poetry. For me, it is a kind of writing determined to prove that there’s poetry beyond verse and its rules. Most often it has an informal, playful air, like the rapid, unfinished caricatures left behind on café napkins. Prose poetry depends on a collision of two impulses, those for poetry and those for prose, and it can either have a quiet meditative air or feel like a performance in a three-ring circus. It is savvy about the poetry of the past, but it thumbs its nose at verse that is too willed and too self-consciously significant. It mocks poetry by calling attention to the foolishness of its earnestness. Here in the United States, where poets speak with reverence of authentic experience and write poems about their dads taking them fishing when they were little, telling the reader even the name of the river and the kind of car they drove that day to make it sound more believable, one longs for poems in which imagination runs free and where tragedy and comedy can be shuffled as if they belonged in the same pack of cards.
Naturally, one of the main impulses for writing such a piece is to escape all labels.
Prose poetry is a monster-child of two incompatible impulses, one which wants to tell a story and another, equally powerful, which wants to freeze an image, or a bit of language, for our scrutiny. In prose, sentence follows sentence till they have had their say. Poetry, on the other hand, spins in place. The moment we come to the end of a poem, we want to go back to the beginning and reread it, suspecting more there than meets the eye. Prose poems call on our powers to make imaginative connections between seemingly disconnected fragments of language, as anyone who has ever read one of these little-understood, always original and often unforgettable creations knows. They look like prose and act like poems, because, despite the odds, they make themselves into fly-traps for our imagination. - Charles Simic
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge
The dice of drowned men's bones he saw bequeath
An embassy. Their numbers as he watched,
Beat on the dusty shore and were obscured.
"Take me for a hard-boiled unimaginative unpoetic reader, and tell me how dice can bequeath an embassy (or anything else)," Monroe wrote. Crane in his reply admitted that
as a poet I may very possibly be more interested in the so-called illogical impingements of the connotations of words on the consciousness (and their combinations and interplay in metaphor on this basis) than I am interested in the preservation of their logically rigid significations at the cost of limiting my subject matter and perceptions involved in the poem.
In his next paragraph he emphasized, however, that there was nothing aleatory in his method. "This may sound," he wrote,
as though I merely fancied juggling words and images until I found something novel, or esoteric; but the process is much more predetermined and objectified than that. The nuances of feeling and observation in a poem may well call for certain liberties which you claim the poet has no right to take. I am simply making the claim that the poet does have that authority, and that to deny it is to limit the scope of the medium so considerably as to outlaw some of the richest genius of the past.
He then took Monroe through some lines of the poem, including "The dice of drowned men's bones he saw bequeath/An embassy." "Dice bequeath an embassy," he wrote,
in the first place, by being ground (in this connection only, of course) in little cubes from the bones of drowned men by the action of the sea, and are finally thrown up on the sand, having "numbers" but no identification. These being the bones of dead men who never completed their voyage, it seems legitimate to refer to them as the only surviving evidence of certain messages undelivered, mute evidence of certain things, experiences that the dead mariners might have had to deliver. Dice as a symbol of chance and circumstance is also implied.
Monroe had commented as well on the opening of the last stanza:
Compass, quadrant and sextant contrive
No farther tides....
"Nor do compass, quadrant and sextant," she wrote, "contrive tides, they merely record them, I believe."
"Hasn't it often occurred," Crane replied,
that instruments originally invented for record and computation have inadvertently so extended the concepts of the entity they were invented to measure (concepts of space, etc.) in the mind and imagination that employed them, that they may metaphorically be said to have extended the original boundaries of the entity measured?
In the same letter, he quoted from Blake and T.S. Eliot to show how the language of the poetry he wrote and admired did not simply ignore logic, it sought to find a logic deeply embedded in metaphor and suggestion. This poetry, he made clear, did not follow the lazy path dictated by the unconscious, or allow the outlandish or the merely associative to triumph, but was deliberate and exact, even though it belonged "to another order of experience than science." He worked toward both "great vividness and accuracy of statement," even if it might seem to some, including Monroe, that the vivid triumphed over the accurate. - Colm Tóibín
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Over and over his attacks sought to cancel him out and he emerged with fresh vision. He lived the rebirth archetype in a deformed and quasi-aborted way. He needed to break himself down in order to begin freshly and nakedly. If he could have found the help he needed, his self-attack system might have achieved its cleansing function more wholesomely. But given his temperament, family, and social conditions, he made use of the tools he had available. In his case, a distorted self-hate had to assume the function of ripping his personality apart in order to keep tapping into the primordial ground of his being. - Michael Eigen
Monday, June 27, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
and slept until the sun rose. When we got to the capital,
which lay in ruins, we built a large fire out of what chairs
and table we could find. The heat was so fierce that birds
overhead caught fire and fell flaming to earth.
These we ate, then continued on foot into regions
where the sea is frozen and the ground is strewn
with moonlike boulders. If only we had stopped,
turned, and gone back to the garden we started from,
with its broken urn, its pile of rotting leaves, and sat
gazing up at the house and seen only the passing
of sunlight over its windows, that would have been
enough, even if the wind cried and clouds scudded seaward
like the pages of a book on which nothing was written.
Monday, June 20, 2011
- Allen Tate
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
As artist, Shakespeare dramatizes the mystery; as philosophical artist, he also dramatizes the denial of any convincing solution to the mystery. In effect, in Hamlet, Shakespeare shows us that man lives, questions, affirms, doubts and dies. – Morris Weitz
Monday, June 13, 2011
They are too directly intent on their reading. They can't get started looking two ways at once. I think too they are afraid of the simplicity of many things they think on the side as they read. They wouldn't have the face to connect it in writing with the great author they have been reading...The game is matching your author thought for thought in any of the many possible ways. Reading then becomes converse - give and take. It is only conversation in which the reader takes part addressing himself to anything at all in the author in his subject matter or form. Just as when we talk together!
Friday, June 10, 2011
One need not be a House—
The Brain has Corridors—surpassing
Far safer, of a Midnight Meeting
Than its interior Confronting—
That Cooler Host.
Far safer, through an Abbey gallop,
The Stones a'chase—
Than Unarmed, one's a'self encounter—
In lonesome Place—
Ourself behind ourself, concealed—
Should startle most—
Assassin hid in our Apartment
Be Horror's least.
The Body—borrows a Revolver—
He bolts the Door—
O'erlooking a superior spectre—
My love of Emily Dickinson’s poetry didn’t begin until I went to college. The woefully inadequate textbooks I had in high school seemed to favor poems like “A narrow Fellow in the Grass” and “I’ll tell you how the Sun rose.” I imagine the publishers found these poems to be ”safe“ and accessible for high school students, but at that time in my life, poems about nature and wildlife left me cold.
When I first encountered this poem, #670, I was absolutely floored. It spoke to me in a way that was powerful and immediate. I couldn’t believe that the quiet, frail, wide-eyed girl in the picture had written it. I looked back to that photograph, stared at it a long time, and wondered who she had really been.
When I began teaching high school English, it was a foregone conclusion that I would teach Dickinson—and not the poems that had been in my old textbook, but instead, the poems like this one that dared to speak “out loud” about the dark anxieties, even terrors, that haunt all of us—and perhaps teenagers, especially so.
There is a lot to “teach” in this poem. Dickinson breaks from her usual hymn meter here, writing the 1st and 3rd lines of each stanza in an almost-but-not-quite iambic pentameter, followed by 2nd and 4th lines in an abrupt dimeter and, ultimately, monometer.
“Why,” I ask my students, “might she have wanted to unsettle the rhythm of this poem? How do these techniques work toward the message she is trying to convey?” They always have a lot to say. We talk as well about diction, how Dickinson evokes the world of the Gothic with words like “chamber,” “haunted,” “midnight,” “ghost,” “abbey,” and “assassin.” She creates the landscape we know, the world of the intentionally frightening, to juxtapose it with the interior world that frightens us against our will.
The first year I taught this poem, it seemed to me that it had an impact on some of the kids—but, of course, there was no way I could be sure. That evening, a huge snowstorm was predicted, and snowflakes were already beginning to fall. Anticipating a day off from school, I went out to the local bookstore to get some fresh reading material. When I turned the corner into the poetry section, there on hands and knees, looking through books on a bottom shelf, was one of my students, Jessica. She was a girl who was not easy to know. She rarely spoke and her expression gave little clue as to what went on in her mind. Seeing her in her dance team uniform on game days, I had made some snap judgments about who she was, what she valued.
That evening, her mother was with her, tapping her foot and looking anxiously out at the swirling snow. Clearly, she wanted to get home before the roads got too slick. I watched as Jessica pulled out Johnson’s Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson and opened the pages. It made my night. Truth be told, it made my whole year.
– Melanie McCabe
Thursday, June 9, 2011
and I sang back. Bird added a flourish (four notes) and I
tried that. Bird's notes were on pitch mine not, we learned
this and tried a few more, bird had turned on its branch to
(perhaps) me and there being no exact way to end I bent and
took the paper and went in. It left me with a part open.
Little part. But I did not get at myself. A human always
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
The outer life is manifest in science, material artifacts, political economy. The inner life is that of its members - their human flourishing and spiritual wellbeing. What determines how the two are linked is the values or ethics of the day. When the values are right, both aspects thrive and the society has vitality. When the values are wrong, one aspect dominates the other.
So, the analysis would be that we live in a period that has excelled in the outer and has become detached from the inner, because the vitality of the age - growth, consumption, etc - precludes it. Hence, our outer lives - work, politics, economics - have become detached from our inner lives, and so life often feels dehumanizing and appears to be heading for some kind of destruction.
That said, you see all kinds of situations in which you see a desire to link the outer and the inner.
- It's the appeal of ecological philosophies that try to re-enchant nature and the material (funny how the materialist age is one that values the material less and less).
- It's why complementary therapies thrive, no matter how flaky they are, because they don't just promise welfare but wellbeing.
- It's why narratives, stories and myth-telling dominate entertainment - from novels and history books, to online games, to films - because they address the inner need for imaginative resources to tell us who and what we are.
- Conversely, you might say it's why politics has become so managerial, because it has no vision of what it is to be human.
- And, I suspect it's why the law based upon rights is becoming unhinged, and is undermining as much as promoting human flourishing, because it is gradually replacing human relationships with contractual relationships, mutual respect with solipsistic demands, sympathy with suing etc.
The focus on the outer also generates a culture that finds it hard to hear the harsher truths of our inner lives, that it's as much about pain as pleasure, limitation as freedom, commitment as choice, trauma as tranquility. But the paradox is that meaningfulness is only found when individuals can embrace both sides. There is no love without suffering, no beginning without ending, no life without death.
What to do? I'm not that sure! However, key and rather disparate questions are beginning to emerge for me.
- How can we construct a rhythm for the day/week/year that is not determined by work or consumption, and so allows our inner lives to shape the outer, not just the outer the inner?
- What virtues do we need to pay attention to the inner again - patience, attention, a tolerance of doubt/uncertainty, courage (I'm reminded of Pascal's, 'man's sole problem is his incapacity to stay quietly in one room.').
- Clearly education is crucial, as the virtue ethics approach, with which this inner/outer analysis chimes, is all about character formation, habits, practical intelligence.
- I'd say we need less fix-it politics and more one that might be a little like faith.
- Mark Vernon
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Hard lessons for a poet and an actor aspiring to be heard and seen by the world. But some such lessons may have caused Shakespeare to reach a decision that has since made it difficult to understand who he was. Where are his personal letters? Why have scholars, ferreting for centuries, failed to find the books he must have owned or rather, why did he choose not to write his name in those books. The way that Jonson or Donne or many of his contemporaries did? Why, in the huge, glorious body of his writing, is there no direct access to his thoughts about politics or religion or art? Why is everything he wrote—even in the sonnets—couched in way that enables him to hide his face and his innermost thoughts? Scholars have long thought that the answer must lie in indifference and accident: no contemporary thought that this play—wrights’ personal views were sufficiently important to record, no one bothered to save his casual letters, and the boxes of papers that may have been left to his daughter Susanna were eventually sold off and used to wrap fish or stiffen the spines of new books or were simply burned. Possibly. But the heads on the pikes may have spoken to him on the day he entered London—and he may well have needed their warning. – Stephen Greenblatt
Friday, May 27, 2011
You have to choose the best of the past—and the standards are very high in the English language—and ask yourself, Where do I figure in this, do I come anywhere near it? If not, you may as well stop. If you really think that you are nowhere compared with the people you admire—and that has to be a very ruthless and honest self-examination and not simply flattery—then really you should stop. It’s only by thoroughly knowing those other writers and daring to challenge them, even, that you would ever write. So there’s always this paradox of respect and challenge, of recognizing that work exists that you should always be striving towards, which you have to look up to, which is fantastic and which probably you will never reach. It is almost a balance—either you have got it or you haven’t. I don’t know how you really teach it to people who want to write, because there is always too much of the one or the other, too much reverence or too much audacity: either “I know I can do it all,” or “I’m so timid, I’m just going to copy.”
It is important, first of all, to be sure that you do have something to express, but also to show a care for language that suggests that it comes first, before you, before your personality, before your own ambitions. There is always that level of humility. Whenever we talk about writing, we start to talk about paradoxes. We’ve talked about respect and challenge. Now we are talking about chutzpah and humility. The writer is at once the most abject of people and the most arrogant. Because the person who really knows, knows the glories of the past and how significant they are to him or her, is at the same time prepared to say, And now I will add to them. - Jeanette Winterson
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
What was it that Bakhtin said again? “The novel comes into contact with the spontaneity of the inconclusive present; this is what keeps the genre from congealing.” We need critics who set impatient standards, ask uncomfortable questions, and maintain an omnivorous appetite for the unfamiliar, the awkward, the angry, the untoward. Instead, we have a gated community, a velvet-roped garden party, a Brooklyn vs. Cambridge fantasy baseball league. We don’t need critics obsessed with the real, or with whether the novel is alive or dead. We need critics willing to look at the novels that are already out there, going about their business, quietly making the future of literature, whether “we” like it or not. - Jess Row
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
- that there is a natural law which reveals a minimal amount required for our flourishing;
- that happiness is not a feeling but has to do with entering deeply into the relationships that surround us;
- that the passions need educating, not least passions like anger;
- that the stoic aim of becoming attuned with life is key - even or especially when it demands of us a noble response to suffering.
This is all rich wisdom. However, the risk is that, so seamlessly shared, it loses its edge and bite. When so easily agreed upon, it comes to seem obvious and easy too, and clearly it is not, or we'd be living wisely and well already. Listening [to an atheist and a priest agree on these questions] made me realize that disagreement, with at least a little emotional heat, is useful. It provides the listener with a sense of what's at stake. Friction grips. It's perhaps why…the Bible's many conflicts and arguments are not embarrassments, but are necessary as the substance that has brought the people of the book to where they are with God.
- Mark Vernon
Monday, May 16, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
So life’s constant to-and-fro movement is more than a cycle that runs from existence to oblivion and back. It is, rather, an upward spiral: man escapes his finite self, but is driven back to make his transcendent achievements an integral part of his individual being; brought back to earth, his “escapist” nature now reasserts itself, compelling him to reach beyond the horizon of his new, expanded self as well; transcending his new self, his shov once again draws him back to reality.
Back and forth, upward and on, the flame of man dances, his two most basic drives conspiring to propel him to bridge ever wider gulfs between transcendence and immanence, between the ideal and the real.
- Simon Jacobson