"...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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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Corbin & Poetry, continuing... #29

I present this post as a node leading off in several directions at once. There is enough here to keep the interested person busy for a long time...

In a letter to me (an actual, physical letter in longhand) Duncan McNaughton wrote:

"As far as I know - not far - Jack Clarke's work (From Feathers to Iron [at amazon]) and subsequent poetry of his, is the most evident use of Corbin after Olson's. In a primary determination involving, obviously, several other primaries - Blake, the Dogon stuff, Novalis, di Santillana, etc. All aimed at what is actually meant by what is called 'interpretation.' "

And see this Interview with Stephen Ellis - on, among (many) other things, John Clarke and his poetry (In the Analogy: Parts 1-7).

I also must mention Kenneth Warren's wonderful print publication House Organ in which he promises to include at least excerpts from his "Between Language & Ta'wil: Robert Creeley, Jack Clarke & Poetics in Buffalo after Olson" presented at the Soul in Buffalo Conference last year.

John Clarke and Charlie Keil performing "Neolithic Man without a Fravarti" (from here)

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