according to a classic aesthetic model, the artist forms an already existent matter, turns nature into art, gives matter form. the paradigmatic example in this context would be sculpture, but poetry too is ultimately understood in similar terms. for what, as it were, distinguishes a poem from a non-poem, poetry from that which is not poetry? as various historically conditioned attempts to provide poetry with an essential determination little by little have proved to be untenable, the one thing remaining is an implicit notion of human agency, the very idea that the poet in one sense or another organizes the non-poetic matter and turns it into poetry.
which particular methodological premises that are underpinning such an organization of matter is, in this particular light, of secondary importance. what it comes down to is, above all, the fundamental aristotelian distinction between form and matter, and its still strong influence on concepts such as ”art” and ”poetry”.
bearing this in mind, it becomes one of the most crucial tasks for contemporary writing to subvert or dissolve the distinction between that which is produced by man and that which is produced by nature, or between the ”universal artist” (universalis artifex) and the ”universal matter” (universalis materia), to use the terminology of florentine neoplatonist 15th century philosopher marsilio ficino.
for this to be possible, another understanding of the relationship between form and matter seems to be required. which? Continue reading “zu der blühenden allmaterie (abbozzo) / gustav sjöberg. 2017”