"...the Imagination (or love, or sympathy, or any other sentiment) induces knowledge, and knowledge of an 'object' which is proper to it..."
Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a scholar, philosopher and theologian. He was a champion of the transformative power of the Imagination and of the transcendent reality of the individual in a world threatened by totalitarianisms of all kinds. One of the 20th century’s most prolific scholars of Islamic mysticism, Corbin was Professor of Islam & Islamic Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Teheran. He was a major figure at the Eranos Conferences in Switzerland. He introduced the concept of the mundus imaginalis into contemporary thought. His work has provided a foundation for archetypal psychology as developed by James Hillman and influenced countless poets and artists worldwide. But Corbin’s central project was to provide a framework for understanding the unity of the religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. His great work Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi is a classic initiatory text of visionary spirituality that transcends the tragic divisions among the three great monotheisms. Corbin’s life was devoted to the struggle to free the religious imagination from fundamentalisms of every kind. His work marks a watershed in our understanding of the religions of the West and makes a profound contribution to the study of the place of the imagination in human life.

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Jack Foley on “Hamlet, Keats, and La Conscience de Soi”

This piece is from Jerome Rothenberg's superb and always interesting blog Poems & Poetics. I think that this discussion of "interiority," self-hood, and the functions of poetry is of particular relevance to the study of  issues of central concern to Henry Corbin.

Reconfiguring Romanticism (37): Jack Foley on “Hamlet, Keats, and La Conscience de Soi”

Rothenberg writes that this essay  "is the prequel to an eight-part series on Poems for the Millennium, volume 3, prepared by Jack Foley for presentation on Cover to Cover, his longrunning program on KPFA-FM (Pacifica Radio) in San Francisco. The full list of readers includes Bill Berkson, e.e. cummings, Diane Di Prima, Jack & Adelle Foley, Katherine Hastings, Michael McClure, Michael Palmer, Jeffrey Robinson, Jerome Rothenberg, Leslie Scalapino, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Walt Whiman. Show times are consecutive Wednesdays from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. beginning on April 14, for which a detailed listing of program contents will be presented here at a later date.

Foley writes, "I agree with Paul de Man (a mentor of mine at Cornell) that “What sets out as a claim to overcome Romanticism often turns out to be merely an expansion of our understanding of the movement” and that Modernism—despite its frequent explicit rejection of Romanticism—is in fact a thorough-going example of it. In general Romanticism marks the shift from thinking of poetry as a “craft” (and of the poet as “maker”) to thinking of it as a provoker of consciousness, even a creator of consciousness."

John Keats - Life Mask. from Joanna Kane's astonishing book The Somnambulists

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