By close inspection I mean simply as a child holding the paper very close to my eyes and being amazed at how the shadows and light disintegrated into and then reintegrated into lines. I believe something of this early “looking” collaborated with my experiences to suggest a whole, a loose style which I never really followed at all.
Stoicism is not endurance or resignation, but rather affirmation. Identify your will with what happens. Dissolve the boundary between self and world. “My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—but love it.”
Perhaps, then, we should revisit this matrix of man’s poetry and restore to it the arbitrarines on which it is based. I will illustrate that when female beauty radiates not with the “whatness of a thing” –the essence of Stephens’s epiphany– but with the conditions at the marketplace; when, in constrast to what Stephen claims, aesthetics is seen to be based on eugenics, art delineates the artifice of our conventions and unearths what ordinarily remains hidden. The refusal on the part of Joyce’s women to reflect “the necessary phases of [man’s] artistic apprehension,” the precondition for beauty, is what brings forth the feminine sublime: it designates woman’s critique of the social conditions that have reduced her to the pasive role of the other-of-the-same, onto which the masculine gaze projects its fantasies of beauty, only to get them doubly beautiful returned. While the young Stephen Dedalus is still caught up in what he himself calls the “test of love,” in which man gives only to (literally) see what he gets in return, the young Joyce is already coping with the inadequacy of this artistic logic and praising Ibsen for positioning his owmen characters outside the male-artist versus female-model framework.
Women do not have as great a need for poetry
because their own essence is poetry.
Who was Cain’s wife? At the historic Scopes Trial in Tennessee in 1925, William Jennings Bryan, the prosecutor who stood for the Christian faith, failed to answer the question about Cain’s wife posed by the ACLU lawyer Clarence Darrow. Consider the following excerpt from the trial record as Darrow interrogates Bryan:
Q—Did you ever discover where Cain got his wife?
A—No, sir; I leave the agnostics to hunt for her.
Q—You have never found out?
A—I have never tried to find.
Q—You have never tried to find?
Q—The Bible says he got one doesn’t it? Were there other people on the earth at that time?
A—I cannot say.
Q—You cannot say. Did that ever enter your consideration?
A—Never bothered me.
Q—There were no others recorded, but Cain got a wife.
A—That is what the Bible says.
Q—Where she came from you do not know.