The Seamless Web: Language-thinking, Creature-knowledge, Art-experience Stanley Burnshaw

ISBN: 9780807605356

Published:

Hardcover

333 pages


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The Seamless Web: Language-thinking, Creature-knowledge, Art-experience  by  Stanley Burnshaw

The Seamless Web: Language-thinking, Creature-knowledge, Art-experience by Stanley Burnshaw
| Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 333 pages | ISBN: 9780807605356 | 7.15 Mb

Its a shame that no-one more qualified has up to now posted a review on this outstanding book. Still, Im gratified to be able exhibit esteem for a work that provided so much mental stimulation & which has contributed inspiration to continue myMoreIts a shame that no-one more qualified has up to now posted a review on this outstanding book. Still, Im gratified to be able exhibit esteem for a work that provided so much mental stimulation & which has contributed inspiration to continue my own explorations of poetry & the arts in general. Its hard to fathom why Burnshaws book has fallen into such evident obscurity.Perhaps Burnshaw, a very independent thinker, refused to conform to the mold of post-modernism & thus hasnt been promoted by the academic establishment- or, perhaps mainstream readers have a natural antipathy to poetry because of the perception that its artificial & remote from real life.

That was once my perception, but some critical studies of poetry have opened up insights that make me think poetry can impact us in a very relevant manner if we find the proper approach to it.The Seamless Web is the latest &, so far, the best of these kinds of studies Ive come across.

The Seamless Web is truly an apt title, for tho it includes an immense amount of scholarly learning from many different sources, all these pieces of information are welded together in such a cohesive construction that it seems hard to break into this web & extract discrete bits for purposes of description. The most concise thumbnail description I can give is that its an investigation of the way in which artists (which includes creative inventors of all sorts, but with the emphasis on poets) achieve their creations on the transmitting side & how readers or other users are able to appreciate these creations on the receiving end.Several light bulbs lit up while reading the authors insights about these two different phases: creation & appreciation.

Id previously thought that a poet formed some concept or insight & then went about devising a poetic framework which would fit a preconceived notion. Id also thought that any intelligent person should be able to pick up on the poems of acclaimed poets without having to have them explained.Burnshaw effectively discredits both of those conceptions. He shows thru argument & from the confessions of many of the greats, such as Goethe, Eliot, Whitman & Valery, that poets dont control the creative process.

In many cases they act more like stenographers who take dictation from an inner, mysterious author. Then, to the degree necessary, they edit & arrange the received creation into a finished form. As for the prerequisites which the reader must bring to the task, theres some great poetry which can be appreciated simply for the striking beauty or strangeness of its imagery, but to really appreciate the great poets, the reader is usually going to need outside help.Burnshaw shows at length that poets, in their quest for purity & conciseness of expression, cover up or remove the recipe that would reveal how they arrived at a final product.

Its often necessary to look to mythology, classical civilization, Shakespeare & other literary figures, or circumstances peculiar to the authors personal life.Why bother with so much effort? There are many reasons: The effort of piecing together the puzzle of what the poet is trying to convey will bring a more forceful revelation when you get the Aha! from having participated.

By not presenting their visions in simple one-to-one correspondences, poets are able to convey multiple layers of meaning which provide readers a rich associative fabric of images, some of which may give them insights into their own experience. There are sensations or emotions so ineffable that language cannot adequately describe them. Thru the proper words used in the proper combinations & sequences, the poet may be able to suggest those feelings by, in essence, creating a language.Burnshaws conception of the poets need to create, which seems unique, is that it arises from an irritation, like a pearl in an oyster.

Its a deep organic need of the body to return to the seamless web of placental rhythm & security. Only when this irritant is expelled as a work of art can the organism return to its inner rhythm & harmony--that is, until the next irritant develops. What Ive said about this book is but the merest scratching of the surface. In over 300 pages I noted no repetition or dullness. Its a one-of-a-kind performance well worth the effort. Hopefully books of this level of originality & scholarship will not disappear from the scene.--Ted Byrd (edited)



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