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Consciousness without reason? If consciousness requires reason, then before the Greeks invented reason, no one was conscious? (William Barrett's argument in Irrational Man)

I am struggling to understand and define the illogical in language. Is language inherently logical?

Language and magic. Language before deconstruction. However, language is always already there. So to think of the prelinguistic is impossible. We cannot think of the prelinguistic without thinking of it first in terms of language. Things exist outside of language. Poet searches for language to describe the inhuman(defined as outside of language) but cannot. All poetry is thus about failure (which is almost a cliche now). How can the inhuman know anything about the human and vice versa? Where does the word inhuman come from? The desire for outside the self which never fully exists? Why the desire for outside? Does it help us in a biological/evolutionary sense? Perhaps the desire for outside (and the beginning of language which is the beginning of both art and religion) is the desire to alleviate the pain of death. So death instills the desire to create.

The immortal artist. Who doesn't secretly desire it?

So many talk about being satisfied with rejection. To let the work be its own reward. It's a comforting lie. Yes, the work is a great reward. Maybe the greatest. But why share? To make better work. And thus by making better work you make a better person? Not always. Maybe not most of the time if history is a guide. Why then "better" work. Why does quality matter? The ego at the center of it all. I live. I die. In between I create something to outlive me (child of flesh or child of words or both).

So, if the artist molests a child or marries their young daughter, do you stop listening, viewing or reading their work?

Thriller is a good. Woody Allen makes some very moving films. Larkin moves me.

So, we know we know. Art doesn't make anyone a better person.

So, what does it do? Express failure. The only way to really express the failure of the human to understand the inhuman.


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Another Ireland: Part Two
Maurice Scully, The Basic Colours. Durham, UK: Pig Press, 1994.
Geoffrey Squires, Landscapes and Silences. Dublin: New Writers' Press, 1996.
Catherine Walsh, Idir Eatortha and Making Tents. London: Invisible Books, 1996.

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I began the first half of this article (Notre Dame Review #4) by mentioning some of the limits to the legendary hospitality Ireland has shown to its poets. If you arrive in Ireland from any point of departure outside of Eastern Europe, you will indeed find a public far more willing than the one you left behind to grant poets the recognition all but the most ascetic secretly crave. However, this hospitality has never extended to Irish poets w…