24 August 2003

Divine Madness

This is from Josef Pieper's "Divine Madness: Plato's Case Against Secular Humanism":
"Genuine and grand poetry is not possible unless it is born out of divine madness...
Can a Christian accept a thesis that puts poesy on the same level as revelation and inspiration?..
The reflection here points out the sad deficiency of our not having available any theological or philosophical doctrine on the nature of fine arts, which would provide the framework for discussing Plato's thesis in more adequate critical terms. Such a theology or philosophy of poetics, incidentally, might have to be reconstructed ever anew, according to different spiritual conditions of each epoch; and this would probably turn out to be, like theology and philosophy in general, a task becoming ever more difficult."

I am neither poet nor philosopher, but I am a musician, so the mention of fine arts caught my attention. I hope I have put down enough of the context for this to be intelligible.

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