Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Tolstoy and the anxiety of influence

I can't see humans going well in the future, and it's because of Tolstoy.

I now re-read Tolstoy because I grapple with the record of his full and unique consciousness that by contact enlarges mine.

How often I deeply, honestly see into the life of a thing then find that I am seeing with his eyes!

I cannot say the same for any other great writer. Shakespeare spoke to my late teenage worldview, and the violent ferment of history he partook in now seem to be elsewhere, in California or China or perhaps Sydney. But not here in Adelaide, and not here with me.

Dante goes inwards and backwards gathering up his former selves and his European history, enfolding history into himself the better to grow as a person. This is still a viable course of growth for me, through the nonfiction project I am working on.

Milton attracts me simply as the first great Sci-Fi writer and Protestant poet. It is almost redundant to say "Sci-Fi Writer" and Prostestant poet, because Sci-Fi is such an immediately obvious Protestant venture to me.

But through Tolstoy's eyes, monolithic Sci-Fi unfolding at a stately pace is the thing. And this is the deck I deal at present.


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