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David Wood
David Wood

[VERY-3015] Transcendence Tits G

To be in harmony does not mean that upheaval and upset don't occur, but that their very occurrence is used, fully used, as a gift of purification that leaves one in a deeper harmony with the dictates of one's core of being. Implicit in this is trust, open-eyed trust... True trust obeys no moral code, however archaistic. It is but the unexploitable, awakened faith of one who has left the promises of the mind for the already-present glory of their heartland. It is a joy, a fertile brilliance, a holy renewal, a yes that has room for every no, a yes both paradoxical and devastatingly simple, a yes wherein the elements dance and die, a yes aflame with the transcendence of blame, a yes already alive in you.

[VERY-3015] Transcendence Tits G

Douglas Steere writes in WORK AND CONTEMPLATION of occasional moments of transcendence, as "ripples of ecstasy, when our deepest creative impulse, our spring of freedom, is drawn upon and released . . . And in such moments of utter self-absorption, we are lifted above both pain and pleasure. "These moments move us beyond the ordinary labors of our lives. They often occur when we have been in the company of strangers. They require time, and they invite Love.

More pertinent to the issue of this study is the result of O'Connor's remarkable shaping of an aesthetic theory that demanded complete fidelity to the naturalistic facts of the objective world while it sought to express supranaturalistic insights. O'Connor had been trained from the inception of her writing career in an aesthetic theory that excluded the rhetoric of transcendence, an aesthetic that Faulkner only partially practiced and that Tate worked toward throughout his career only to abandon at the end; but in O'Connor's case the realistic bias in her aesthetic conflicted sharply with her intention to write a form of moral fable. From one perspective, we can see that Wise Blood is the perfect example of the Jamesian novel, written with strict control of the point of view and a density of specification that fell clearly within the New Critical understanding of Jamesian theory as interpreted by Percy Lubbock, and later by Brooks and Warren, Booth, Schorer, and others. Nonetheless, in other respects O'Connor's first novel reveals intentions that fall outside the tradition of James, for while the technique of O'Connor's writing, the careful limitation to the point of view of individualized characters and the accretion of specific details, are convincingly Jamesian, the larger shaping of her fictions is wildly subversive of the middle-class assumptions about motivation and behavior that are equally a part of the aesthetic of New Criticism and its understanding of literature. Without intending to downplay O'Connor's ultimate compassion for the Mrs. Mays of her fiction, one can see that the "secure" untroubled matrons and bachelors whose "faith" is grounded more than anything on illusive commonplaces of bourgeois language are the targets of her often virulent satire. Her character by and large is not the fully rounded "intelligence" whose consciousness is gradually revealed but the representative figure closer to caricature. The Jamesian technique, predicated on the aesthetic assumption of complexity, only serves to exacerbate the sense of a debased idiom.

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