By George Steiner

Can there be significant dimensions of a poem, a portray, a musical composition created within the absence of God? Or, is God continually a true presence within the arts? Steiner passionately argues transcendent fact grounds all actual paintings and human communication.

"A actual journey de strength. . . . the entire virtues of the author's excellent intelligence and compelling rhetoric are glaring from the 1st sentence onward."—Anthony C. Yu, Journal of Religion

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I totally feel its greater than metaphoric inference either one of a masculine primacy within the construction of significant fictive types — a primacy now not altogether explicable on social, old or fiscal grounds — and of a patriarchal, militant photo or metaphor of God. there's, in all likelihood, although not at all inevitably, a gender-bias in any version of production as agonistic, as an act of wrestling with, opposed to the ‘other maker’. i'm confident that there's within the poetry, within the novels written via ladies, as compelling a strength of counter-creation, of life-giving repossession and corrigenda of the realm as in these written through males. Have there been higher wrestlers with the “Angel that is negative” than, say, George Eliot or Akhmatova? And but. Is there within the nearly overall absence from drama of any significant lady author a few bold trace? Is the organic potential for procreation, for engendering shaped lifestyles that's cardinal to lady, ultimately, at a few point completely primordial to a woman’s being, so inventive, so pleasurable, as to subvert, as to render relatively pallid, the begetting of fictive personae that is the problem of drama and of quite a bit consultant artwork? may possibly a woman’s event of the start of her baby — an event quintessentially inaccessible to male conception — be so quick in its kinship with the enigma, with the holiness of the being of lifestyles itself (“why is there no longer not anything? ”), that all of it yet ideas out the impulse to contention with a ‘jealous God’ which turns out to me so an important to the classy? the usually valid rancour of present feminist evaluations, the vengeful impatience of the feminist indictment of conventional aesthetic and philosophic idea, are comparable to to make inquiry tough. The mere platitude that literature, the humanities and, chiefly, musical composition were, before, overwhelmingly of a male provenance provokes a sour refusal of debate. The conjecture — i've got hinted at it already — that this truth has roots except ‘phallocratic’ oppression, social constraint or family servitude, is held to be inadmissible. The pity of it. For there's, I enterprise to think, no factor extra pertinent — albeit intractably complicated and proof against mental or sociological positivism — than that of gender and poetics, of gender, of sexuality and of the impulse to fiction. do we in truth imagine extra approximately production and genesis, in regards to the bringing into being of life-forms which relate the poem or the portray to existentiality itself, if we don't contemplate the essence of form-giving that's child-birth and the abstinence from poiesis which this act may perhaps entail? Do ladies their “ripe ideas” of their “brain inhearse,/Making their tomb the womb in which they grew”? I, such a lot veritably, have no idea the reply. maybe Robert Frost did while he said “counter-love”. what's yes is that the nice artificers, and they're basically males, have made no mystery in their wrestling. Michelangelo’s Sonnets appear to mark the rounds of these fierce bouts.

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