Sadly, whether from resentment, fear, or blindness, beauty is often refused, repudiated, or cut down to the size of our timid perceptions. The tragedy is that what we refuse to attend to cannot reach us. In turning away from beauty, we turn away from all that is wholesome and true, and deliver ourselves into an exile where the vulgar and artificial dull and deaden the human spirit. In their vicinity we are unable to feel or think with any refinement. They cannot truly engage us because of their emptiness; they pound our minds and feelings because they lack the coherence to embrace the inner form of the soul. They are not a presence but rather an absence that evicts and vacuates.
- John O'Donohue
Writers have a lot of power, and that might be why they’re not as respected as they should be. The first thing you do . . . you try to put them in their place. You try to convince them that they have no power. It happens to people of African descent all the time, too. Some other folks, they’re very intimidated by the power of the writer, just like some people are intimidated by the power that women have. So they have to make people feel shitty about themselves. People are intimidated by the power that black people have. So they have to make black people feel shitty about themselves. And it’s a lie. I can’t live that lie. And, if the lie is also being told in the theatre, I cannot participate in that lie. I refuse to perpetuate that lie, and I refuse to tell that lie.
- Suzan-Lori Parks
In the practice of reading & writing poetry, one develops a feel for words, a tacit sense of whether any particular word in any particular context is legitimate. The art of poetry hugely depends on this feel for words. But this involves a subtle, pre-articulate, sort of intelligence, the mode of intelligence we call "taste." To derive explicit rules, let alone ideologies, from taste, is always problematic, because the explicit rational intelligence is a great deal slower & cruder than the quick & subtle intelligence of "taste." Taste thrives by making finer & finer discriminations; ideology thrives by making cruder & cruder polarizations.
Jung calls dreams and cases of insanity "eclipses of consciousness" - a wonderful image, the dark shadow of the unconscious for a moment darkening our conscious will. The unconscious is concrete and objective; it speaks in images. Consciousness loves abstractions, order, and systems. Separated, one is blind and the other empty. It's the job of the artist to bring to the surface what we ordinarily "evade or overlook or sense only with a feeling of dull discomfort." The hard work of the artist is in binding them together, traversing those two worlds without getting lost in one or the other.
- Susan Neville