"...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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Sunday, April 7, 2013

On John Clarke (in the series on Corbin & Poetry)

I have this note from Duncan McNaughton dating back a couple years in response to a question about Corbin's influence:

As far as I know - not far - Jack Clarke's book From Feathers to Iron and subsequent poetry 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."

From the back cover we have this from James Hillman:

"How rarely I come upon a truly useful book. Clarke has packed it all in here and wherever you open the pages, jewels, pearls, crowns tumble out. I see illustrations to the Arabian Nights. I have already picked up and walked off with treasures."

Also, in the current issue of Ken Warren's HOUSE ORGAN there is a very nice piece by Bruce Holsapple on Clarke's In the Analogy.

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