Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry (The A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts) (Bollingen Series)

Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry (The A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts) (Bollingen Series)

Jacques Maritain

Language: English

Pages: 356

ISBN: 0691018170

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This is the Meridian publication, which is an abbreviated version of the book that Pantheon published in its Bollingen Series. Anyone who knows of a PDF of the full Pantheon/U. of Princeton Press edition can certainly replace this edition.

The title sums it up: intellect/intuition in art and poetry from the Greeks to the Moderns. Maritain's Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry will give some background to the man:

from that 'cyclopedia:
"A third distinctive feature of Maritain's philosophy of art is his account of artistic (or what he sometimes calls 'poetic') knowledge. Maritain notes the focus on the awareness of the self as characteristic of art from the time of the German romantics, and recognises its value so far as it challenges the emphasis on reason and mechanical technique. This artistic knowledge is an instance of what Maritain calls, in general, knowledge though connaturality; it is a kind of 'creative intuition' that arises out of "the free creativity of the spirit" (Creative Intuition, p. 112; Natural Law, p. 18). Maritain also describes it as a "grasping, by the poet, of his own subjectivity in order to create" (Creative Intuition, p. 113). Maritain places this knowledge at the level of the preconscious intellect. It is non-conceptual, non-rational, and "obscure" (Creative Intuition, p. 18; see Natural Law, p. 18). Nor is it, as much knowledge is, a knowledge of essences. Nevertheless, it is still connected to "intellectual act". It is a knowledge of reality — of a "concrete reality" — albeit one that "tends and extends to the infinite" (Creative Intuition, p. 126). This kind of knowledge lies at the basis, not only of artistic activity, but also moral and mystical experience."












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out, it constitutes or integrates a delight involved in a vision. Such an emotion transcends mere subjectivity, and draws the mind toward things known and toward knowing more. And so induces dream in us. Second: The signs and the significance I just pointed out remain, as a rule, virtual or latent, at least at that very mo­ ment when the wanderer on the earth is struck by the im­ pact of beauty. No particular recollection, no particular idea, is expressed in consciousness. Yet, for all that,

first, complaining about human vocabulary. I need to designate both the singularity and the infinite internal depths of this flesh-and-blood and spiritual existent, the artist; and I have only an abstract word: the Self. I need to designate the se­ cretive depths and the implacable advance of that infinite host of beings, aspects, events, physical and moral tangles of horror and beauty— of that world, that undecipherable Other— with which Man the artist is faced; and I have no word for that

on terms of coequality and connaturality, and there­ fore cannot live except in beauty. Poetry cannot do without beauty, not because it is submitted to beauty as an object, but because poetry is in love with beauty, and beauty in love with poetry.^* Poetry and Beauty 133 7. The previous considerations help us, probably, to realiie how philosophy succeeds in making difficult issues a little more obscure. Yet it seems to me that they help me to un­ derstand more clearly the following facts.

the plane of abstract knowledge, the plane of poetry, the plane of magic, is fundamental. And we see that the plane of poetry is inter­ mediary between the plane of abstract knowledge and the plane of magic. Poetic knowledge is spiritual and intentional; of itself it bears no trace of magic in the strict sense (refer­ ring to magical operation) in which I am using this word, and has nothing to do with any dissolution of the Self into things, or any adulterous confusion with them, or any claim to

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