Sunday, October 24, 2021
What is there to a muse?
Before I leave my bibliophilic museum for more timely amusements about our political life—and presuming I’ll have lost my current inspiration when I return, some weeks ahead—I want to express fascination with the notion of “the” muse which writers sometimes cite to explain their aspiration.
Standardly, fables of personified creative capability flow from the posited muse into one’s own voice. It’s a Janus-faced venture of speaking in light of earlier listening, as if a “spirit” is channeled.
Here,“you” are more than witness. You are addressed through the voicing in a triadic mediation(2) of enspiration(1) to you(3). The music(1) fills(2) “me,” which is heralded(3).
Yet, one may posture their audience as the muse itself, e.g., writing to Orpheus. Here, one lets another listen in to “my” addressing enspiration—a triadic venture of “you” now witnessing an interplay.
Both ventures may echo each other—or merge, one fused (if not confused) with the other. A present person may be personified as a muse, which is common for creativity, respecting the difference (the other person trusts); and playing with appreciated liminality.
Or, concealing the difference (common in romanticism) prevails, as if there’s no such thing as self-concealing blindness that there’s a difference (not even possible). There’s “no” self-undermining textuality to the appeal of “you.”
No matter—one way or the other—for risky creative possession by the so-called muse, which is the original sense of ‘genius’: a resident spirit guiding one onward like wind for gliding birds.
A personification of mysterious capability is born and grows from there being persons in baby’s primal times, becoming sophisticated into possibly conceptual (even allegedly “primordial”) presences, like goddesses of poetry and other inspirations.
History!: Clio (one of the Greek Muses), were you secretly born from Calliope (epic)?
Does love (Erato) bear sacredness (Polyhumnia)? Is tragedy healed through dance to music making the stars constellate divine comedy?
“Ever to the child in man, night neighbors the stars”—night itself!
It gives way through irresistible personification of the Appeal.
Speaking of Clio becoming unprecedented dance: What fun was the fable
of the Titans (older generation of classical Greek gods) battling the Olympians (younger generation of gods). The Olympians won: The new generations
(the moderns) were to carry on the dancing. New beginnning was to prevail
over tradition (which is not to imply that history—high literacy—isn’t to be appropriately appropriated).
Indeed, youth lives as if the world came into being with their generation.
At heart, they give no mind to rebelling (merely) from the past. Though
the formally Modernist impulse was defined relative to a burned out pantheon
that a generation seeks freedom from (such a Eurocentric motive, contrary to
the freedom to be one’s ownmost generation, which is “the real American dream,” according to Andrew Delbanco, 1999, which Nietzsche in particular cribbed from Emerson) modernism itself is a recurring contemporaneity of progressive generativity.
The Olympians win. A “Second Beginning” emerges with every generation—before seeing Its pretensions dissolve into Our ongoing inter-generational evolving where nonetheless, orienting value to prospects for heirs’ better lives prevails over longing to newly appreciate ancestry.
Futurity prevails over historialtiy in authentic life. The fallen don’t stand in order to go back. They stand to move on—with all due appreciation of the parents, the teachers, the canon.
Greeks personified the Sun as Helios; Egyptians, Ra. Does not the singularity
of the Sun originate the idea of ultimate singularity?
But the classical Greeks found rather that cohering constellations didn’t need personified singularity, though self-constellating constellations of the gods are conceived by the protean poet of self-transforming there (not originating from
the poet herself) in the variety of constellating light.
The heavens speak. The nature of Earth speaks. The marriage of Time and Nature is generative (not singular conception) across generations—no homeostatic Logos; rather, heavenly poiesis (new building), appropriating logos (new dwelling) to advance ethos (new thinking).
The genius of the richly-worlded ones is to horizonally look to future generations. Yet, only inasmuch as the futurity of inter-generationality can be personified—as living heirs to come—can their entitlement to their own good be appealing to provision (e.g., paying forward thankfully for the sake of their humanity, their Earth), even sanctified like honoring a god to later—yet, reliably—be arriving.
Personification: born from infant attachment, to grow itself into bonded feeling, then into enowned loves and friendships, deliberate (selfidentical) fidelities, lasting commitments, occasioned solidarities, and manifold kinds of investments.
In feeling for “you”—in feeling there being “our” presence, making good, realizing promise, conceiving (beyond mere imagining—that notion of creativity born from imagistic tangibility)—conceiving how we can be, there is Heidegger’s “Da-sein”: there being, It gives, our there-ing within which things are—not to be primarily context-transcended (a materialist supervenience echoing supernaturalism); rather, to be enabled, like musing souls possessed by our precedence, our intimately shared granting and bearing, trans-generational humanity which gathers us into futural regioning of that which regions—the Appeal: “She binds together without seam or edge or thread. She neighbors because she works only with nearness.”
Heidegger would reincarnate the feminine—analogous to Jung’s Anima—in the world of overbrearing Animus, so that no longer some god threatens wrath against disobedience, but rather expresses the news that love—care, trust in the other’s promise—is the kingdom that already always belongs among us, if we let it; thus, belonging with each of us.
Father, be not paternalist or/and quick to anger. Be concerted cultivation: authentic parenting, genuine teaching, enablative leadership.
Husserl’s great error was to be motivated by relating to objects, rather than by belonging with dear others. Reading Heidegger after consolidating one’s sense
of phenomenology objectivationally yields a pantheon of dependent miscon-
struals about Heidegger’s sense of being—which was never analogous to some transcendental a priori (contrary to what Husserl understood—and contrary
to how Heidegger is commonly read).
So, by the way, it came to pass that generations of misreading would become
a canon about what’s culpably “obvious” in Heidegger’s survival of nazism.
Heidegger’s calling was never to retrieve or gain some transcendentality; rather, thinking was called to inhabit and be inhabited by conceptual muses, by tropics of “that which regions”: intelligent life in its highest (sky), farthest (Earthly horizon), deepest (divined possession), and most intimate (mortal) senses. “Poetic thinking” is about the conceptuality of inquiry, not primarily some sublime resort (though that appeal follows derivatively).
A few days ago, I mentioned to an email friend a rubric, “historizing immance,” without explication. The mention was not implicitly about retrieving Titans into the present (though there’s great value to be found in appreciating the canon). Rather, I wanted potentiating presence—in teaching, paradigmatically—for the sake of futural lastingness (as if making history is feasible, while not being conceited about one’s prospects by doing one’s best).
Such hopeful historizing is no longing for preceding transcendentality; rather,
a generativity exemplified by aspiring creativity, inspiring fruitfully—at best originarily, where subsequent genealogy is retrojective, unforeseen by some later-inferred a priori (not retrospective). Appropriative recollection is given genealogical value—holding good (even sanctified humanistically) as spirit, muse, constitutive principles worth retaining and transmitting.
By virtue of creative remembrance: In the beginning, our story began there—
or here, whatever.
-- gary e. davis -- 6:54 PM