Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Maybe we are linear after all ...in a non-linear way

Laura Winner, David Dark, and Sufjan Stevens? What a team to inspire on to hear/see voices!

Read it all at this link, including this John Wilson summary of the amazing David Dark's talk:

In his keynote talk, "The Word, the Line, the Way," which repeatedly made me want to shout "amen!", David Dark—who is Sarah Masen's husband, and a writer familiar to readers of Books & Culture—reminded us that we all have more lines in our heads than we often suppose, lines from songs and books and from the Word, lines from fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters and friends, lines of contempt and lines of celebration, lines dogmatic and lines enigmatic, structuring our apprehension of the Real.

Indeed, David wanted to argue that the lyrical—an impulse and a form of cognition not limited to poetry proper, though magnificently embodied in the poems that endure—somehow is prior to the analytical, the propositional, and such. I've encountered this argument before, and I'm still not persuaded (nor have I ever been entirely sure what is being claimed, or how the claim might be adjudicated). I'll be satisfied if those who condescend to the lyrical simply give it its due as indispensable. If we are the rational animal, we are also equally the singing animal.

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