Thursday, January 31, 2008

An Emerging Theory

I am troubled by the fact that all art is artifice, no matter how hard we try to "keep it real." The beginning of any artistic endeavor soon evolves or devolves into artifice. The artifice arises because of the limitation of our perception, our natural desire to bring order to chaos, the inherent structure of the narrative, and the level of our consciousness. In that regard, the greatest artifice is found at each end of the spectrum of human consciousness. The primitive mind desires magic, whereas the refined consciousness seeks the symbol, the numinous, the archetype. Ironically, the quotidian mind is content to reside in the fact, the so-called real, which is an artifice of culture. As a result of this battle with artifice, which is inevitable, I find myself letting go of the real and moving more to the fantastic. In this movement I find solace in the fiction of Paul Auster, Peter Ackroyd, John Crowley, and Franz Kafka and the poetry of Paul Celan, Bill Knott, Gunter Grass, and Charles Simic.

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