We have not even to risk the adventure alone for the heros of all time have gone before us-the labyrinth is fully known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.
Yesterday in the car I heard a discussion on fairytales. Back at home I went to dig up my Henry Darger book to look at the beautiful, sometimes bloody, collage images of his home-cooked fairy tale saga. It was next to a book of Tibetan Art I bought at the Rubin Museum last year. Soon the stack pictured above appeared alongside the pomegranate on the still life table and I thought a little detour from the work at hand might be inspiring. 10"x8", AD markeres, pencil and pen on paper.
Art and Visual Perception is in there. I was floored in grad school to read Arnheim's exploration of the psychology of composition. He gives an intellectual explanation of why formal elements have emotional resonance. At the top of the stack is the first volume of Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time (Madeline cookie triggers flood of childhood memory) which, it turns out, makes a perfect companion to Ernest Schachtel's Metamorphosis: On the Conflict of Human Development and the Psychology of Creativity in which he breaks down perception sense by sense while also describing the developmental origins of the conflict between our drive for discovery and our fear of the unknown.
The thick, dark blue book is The New Oxford Book of English Verse (new being relative as it is a 1939-republication of a collection from 1900). In the original preface Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (good name, eh?) quotes Coleridge's (of Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner fame with its "water, water, everywhere..." and that whole business with the albatross) poem Mythology:
A deeper import
Lurks in the ledgend told my infant years
Than lies upon that truth we live to learn.