"...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, June 22, 2011

Rothenberg on Bloom

Jerome Rothenberg - Harold Bloom: The Critic as Exterminating Angel

I'm so happy to have read this - thanks yet again to Ron Silliman. The essay is from Sulfur in 1981. Bloom has left his mark on Henry Corbin's legacy, through his introduction to the new edition of Corbin's Creative Imagination (renamed Alone with the Alone, I suspect at Bloom's suggestion) and through his own book Omens of Millennium. I have long had a hearty dislike for Bloom's work and I bristle at his readings of Corbin. Rothenberg's fine essay helps explain why I find Bloom's attitude so inimical to Corbin's entire project.

Jerome Rothenberg: Photo by Charles Bernstein.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I wasn't aware that Bloom had been allowed to pen an introduction to Corbin's "Creative Imagination" -- ugh. Every time Bloom's name comes up in my reading, its almost always mangling the meaning and import of writers I've come to admire. (For example, his introduction to a re-issue of Conrad Aiken's Selected Poetry was so damningly critical (and narrow-minded, even blind-sighted) of Aiken's brilliance that I'm sure quite a few potential readers never got past Bloom's intro.) Its a shame publishers allow publications to be tarnished with his blather. Again-- ugh!

    Good to see that Rothenberg was on top of this years ago. Rothenberg's vast encyclopedic work truly shall "live," whether Bloom can see it or not. ;]

    Keep up the good work!