[ by Charles Cameron — in which Gartenstein-Ross reminds me of Albrecht Dürer ]
Daveed is worth reading and heeding, especially when he says he’s written something of particular consequence — so read his Foreign Affairs piece.
My topic is triggered by a single sentence in Daveed’s piece, and is orthogonal to his. Daveed writes:
These spaces included both literal ungoverned territory and discursive spaces
In the overall flow of Daveed’s piece that’s a simple introductory remark, an observation of fact. From my point of view, though, there’s more to it than that — it’s a disjunction & conjunction of the two realms of geography and cognition, matter and mind, or “outer and inner space” if you will. And that’s something always worth noting.
In fact, Daveed’s comment reminds me of Albrecht Dürer and his illustrations of Saint Michael Fighting the Dragon, from The Apocalypse:
Here, the supernatural sits comfortably above (Latin: super) the natural.
The physical-metaphysical (body-mind; outer-inner; objective-subjective) disjunction & conjunction is recognizable in Descartes, and takes contemporary form as the so-called hard problem in consciousness. It’s significant that the “war in heaven” of Durer’s vision no longer fills the skies in our contemporary images of war, though heaven and hell are no less with us than before..
And so I note that, en passant, Daveed has alluded to what is perhaps the great schism of our time, that between visionary and factual truths.
Kathleen Raine, poet — and mentor of my youthful self:
Fact is not the truth of myth; myth is the truth of fact.
Witness her distress as we abandon truth of myth shining “above” truth of fact, for truth of fact alone:
Chemistry dissolves the goddess in the alembic,
Venus the white queen, the universal matrix,
Down to molecular hexagons and carbon-chains,
John of Patmos, the alchemists, Durer, Blake, Jung, Raine, have the richer vision.