Thursday, December 4, 2008

On Faith Informing Art-Marilynne Robinson


"You have to have a certain detachment in order to see beauty for yourself rather than something that has been put in quotation marks to be understood as “beauty.” Think about Dutch painting, where sunlight is falling on a basin of water and a woman is standing there in the clothes that she would wear when she wakes up in the morning—that beauty is a casual glimpse of something very ordinary. Or a painting like Rembrandt’s Carcass of Beef, where a simple piece of meat caught his eye because there was something mysterious about it. You also get that in Edward Hopper: Look at the sunlight! or Look at the human being! These are instances of genius. Cultures cherish artists because they are people who can say, Look at that. And it’s not Versailles. It’s a brick wall with a ray of sunlight falling on it...

"Ordinary things have always seemed numinous to me. One Calvinist notion deeply implanted in me is that there are two sides to your encounter with the world. You don’t simply perceive something that is statically present, but in fact there is a visionary quality to all experience. It means something because it is addressed to you. This is the individualism that you find in Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. You can draw from perception the same way a mystic would draw from a vision. "

Marilynne Robinson. An excellent interview of a contemporary literary genius. I recommend the whole thing.

1 comment:

Kathy Garrison said...

Hey Joyce,

I am sorry about not seeing your comment about borrowing stats on my blog earlier.....of course you may use them - that is if you still need them!! :)
I wish more people realized the serious state of orphans around the world - anything to get the word out!!