Friday, October 23, 2009

Aimless Reading: The D's, Part 43.6 (Robert Duncan)

Duncan, Robert
The Truth & Life of Myth


This looks to have been another rescue from the Just Buffalo library sale. I think I read the version in Fictive Certainties, but I might be wrong. We are getting near the end of the D's -- should be finished in a few days. After Duncan, I think there are only two more books. I am not sure what to do for an interlude between letters this time. I am thinking I might do a few little magazines or anthologies. I feel like I have hit a patch lately where I am finding it difficult to draw memories out when I write these entries. It's not that I have run out of them, but rather that I have hit a group of books about which I remember little outside their content and/or their points of purchase. I am not disheartened, though, because I can look forward in the alphabetical arrangement of my books and see that there is still plenty left to say. (Although the voice of Kevin Killian asking if I was telling all the best stories too early in the alphabet sometimes haunts me when the well runs a little dry.)

from The Truth & Life of Myth

For Dante, for Shakespeare, for Milton, was the poet-lore handed down in the tradition from poet to poet. It was the very matter of Poetry, the nature of the divine world as poets had testified to it; the poetic piety of each poet, his acknowledgment of what he had found true Poetry, worked to conserve that matter. And, for each, there was in the form of their work--the literary vision, the play of actors upon the stage, and the didactic epic--a kind of magic, for back of these forms we surmise distant origins in the rituals toward ecstasy of earliest Man. Once the operations of their art began they were transported from their sense of myth as literary element into the immediacy of the poem where reality was mythological.

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