Saturday, 23 May 2009

Does a stereo system play non linear music? Or not?

Congratulations Dr Broglio. Your course Christ in an Orb (Night III: The Four Zoas) and its challenges seems to this retired academic to be inspiring.

It is the claim of non-linearity that concerns me...that's all...just the claims of this curious assertion as an aspect of literature, film, art and music...each are different.....To my mind, the claim needs to be placed in an 'epoche', Heidigger-style, in a closed intellectual micro-world. It can only be a metaphor, a bracket of suspended disbelief, to paraphrase Coleridge, that asks us to enter Blake's art and poetry. However, it remains the platform for some post modern literary philosophy and is presented as a serious alternative to the aesthetic coherence of a linear plot, or a causal event after event mythic flow with a beginning, a process of causality, and an ending. By contrast, what seems to be meant is a multi-linear text not a non-linear text.

Dr Broglio's discourse is worth extensively quoting/summarising to understand the pedagogy of MOO spaces and the discourse of the non-linear narrative. He seeks to present students with experiences of literature through electronic visual mediums, experiences of Blake especially, that:
1. seek to "link together disparate textual spaces together" "reconfigure" textuality and linear narrative.
2. In Broglio's view, Blake's presentation of "Eternity [is] marked by a deletion of knowledge, a forgetting of the non-knowing of origins in the attempt to establish a unified perceptual field".
3. He writes "Blake attempts to shatter this illusionary field through the convolution of narrative space/time in the opening of incommensurable spaces".
4. He claims the "narrative builds round the Lamb of God" and the "repeated fragmentation of Night VIII...[means] the transfer of Luvah's signs from Orc to the Lamb".
5. He asks we identify and study the "stabilization and destabilization of character" and the "construction of identity".
6. He sees the process of creative totalization as a "hallucination of desire on to the landscape"...for the "spaces resonate with their [the authors] visions"
7. He asks the students responses to show an "unrestricted engenderment of associated meanings"
8. He wants also that the "rational and linear stuctures of reading" become a "radical subjectivity capable of negociating destabilized narrative spaces" in which
9. critical understanding are seen as "shuttling between multiple discursive positions and modes of subjectivity".
10 Thus, that he writes a reader can "unbind" their "discourse" [into] "a subjectivity that recognises itself as an emanation, a spectre of the ideological forces acting upon it"

that's the web site for Ruegg and Broglio.

I think the issues raised seem dealt with in the books on this site...however, without presumptive pedagogical comment, in sequence 1-10, I think it shown:
1. there are no incommensurable spaces; eternity is not a forgetting.
2. That the perceptions of infinity are three-fold and four-fold in clear narrative levels
3. and that the illusionary fields are two-fold perceptions and are shattered as the two Limits are consumed, and, the 'hallucinations' of landscapes are usually poetic passages of transition between the four levels of narrative discourse.
4. Night VIII is not fragmented, see my The Four Zoas Explained...(the first full scale study of the poem and its stages of construction)...elsewhere in this web site... a summary is in the April 2007 blog entry below.... the textual study of the linked Night VI, Night VII(a) and Night VII(b), and Night VIII are specifically united by Blake in his third major stage of revision and in the fourth stage with his penciled late additions. The relations between Orc, Luvah and the Lamb of God are presented therein.
5. Blake's characterization is consistent and developmental. Each of Blake's figures is a dramatic identity and there is no character slippage. Exits and entrances are dramatically logical and coherently follow the event causality and poetry of transition, as is clearly outlined in Shakespeare's Heir.
6. No series of associations can be unrestricted, for the meanings are necessarily limited to the medium, deconstruction is a self-cleansing interactive activity. and, is Blake's self-proclaimed prophetic task and discourse context,
7. for, every creative effort is ultimately a unity, Blake know this and claims it prophetically true of his art, poetry and myth. His claims to structural clarity and literary excellence are justified and I have found (and shown) that he should be believed.
8. Destabilized spaces are simply unperceived movements between the four levels and
9. shuttling between them is absolutely necessary to understand that every creative effort in Blake major prophecies is interwoven by a four level multi-linear narrative in consciously crafted literary unity, as shown in the (first) line-by analysis of The Four Zoas in The Four Zoas Explained and in (also the first) line-by-line analysis of Jerusalem in Jerusalem Explained
10. Finally, the subjectivity of the reader is an "emanation", a "spectre" of "ideological forces acting upon" the person" a sense I agree, however, each term is specifically contextualised by Blake, and his prophetic discourse 'peels the spectre off' the multi-linear narrative dynamic and, since the prophet sees what ordinary people do not see but can, he reveals the symbols that creatively inspires psychic transformation. Blake's immense psychic value lies in his symbolic presentation of mind in dynamic engagement with the process of his narratives. Blake does bring his psychic encyclopediac myth to completion. Thus he creates a perceptually transformational imaginative achievement for an audience.

Further, always in Blake, 'emanation' is feminine and both infinite and finite, while 'spectre' is entirely male and finite (with the prophetic exception of the Spectre of Urthona) so the yoking of the two involves the interpenetration of both energies and multiple levels of narrative simultaneity, for example, the figures of Enitharmon and the Spectre of Urthona in Jerusalem Chapter 2, fleeing to the Sons of Eden from the blood-flood of Albion's interior collapse into generation, is a symbolic correlation of emanation and Spectre of Urthona in terms of Eden. As Los' Spectre the three-fold vision of an opened furnace liberates The Spectre of Urthon from the enclosed space/time of the Spectre of Luvah.

To understand the correlation we need to know the finite and infinite concomitant contexts of the poem as an aesthetic whole, with a clear grasp of essentials the very least of which involve a practical grasp of the integrated four levels of vision and their corresponding levels of discourse and 'signage'; of Albion and Jerusalem; Luvah and Vala in Chapter 2; Ulro, Generation, Eden and Beulah; Jesus within and without; and the poetry of transition between the four narrative parallels.

It is simply the claim of non-linearity that concerns me. I find this shown to be based on textually deficient methodologies. Blake's epics are multi-linear. His myth is not non-linear, nor is it mono-linear nor monological... In The Four Zoas I have shown we have stereo-textuality...
In an analogy, the two Nights VII are like music from two speakers that are different in source but are united in a third, not graphically or phonetically marked or written directly edifice of sound in the listener's aural imagination...To develop the analogy of music, in Jerusalem , as I have shown, we have 'quadrophonic textuality'... There are four discourse sources in four Chapters each of which is different in narrative process but one in a dynamic imaginative whole that in turn is NOT IS multi-linear. It is also worth noting that the reader will find there is an extraordinary remembering...everything is remembered claims Los...all in three-fold Golgonooza in dynamic, interactive vortices in three-fold sublime unity.

Thereby the audience become interactive individual source. Impenetrable complexity, the criticism most often reached, I feel is all too often is a product of frustrated comprehension for to express something simply it must be known in depth. Comprehension is the pathway to simplicity and Blake, once read properly, is a simple man and his poetry expresses simple truths of human interiority as a multi-linear harmonic of woven intertextualites, fragmentations and self-annhiliation, perceptual renewal, psychic reconnectedness and inner mutalities reconciled all strategies of psychic survival after severe trauma.

Blake advances us to reconfigure perceptual forms of psychic collapse and fragmentation, and unity and resolution. The Albion at the end of The Four Zoas and Jerusalem is NOT the Albion of the beginning of The Four Zoas and Jerusalem. Albion does not simply return to the beginning. Blake is not writing a cycle of descent and return out of and back to a state of innocent origin precisely because that signifies deterministic futility and, in his major prophecies, is the discourse universe of two-fold vision.

In the ways alleviation of ignorance alleviates suffering, great art heals and Blake heals. Simply by following the text, however fragmentary the experience initially, many people are moved into growth and self-revelation by interaction with Blake's art and poetry...and perhaps it is worth reminding ourselves that retreats into assertions of Blake's madness, or as now, the madness of Blake's texts, are alike examples of intellectual frustration even academic hubris... We find in book after book how in one way or another it is all Blake's fault...Is he impenetrable? To my mind this tacit admission of failed critical acumen may be because the critic has yet to read Blake clearly enough, and deeply enough...and having failed to see, finds Blake blind.

It is the audience that experiences pre-existent fragmentation and it is the audience, in individual participation in interactive psychic discourse, that build unique personal structures of healed vision when Blake's golden thread is followed.

Now, the spiritual journey of his prophetic multi-linear narrative can be seen NOT as incommensurable, impenetrable, plotless, destabilized, with no consistent characterization and without linear or even rational causality, BUT as brilliantly crafted epic adventures with consciously crafted plots of interlaced, multi-linear, narrative structure that binds each unit of meaning to all the other units of meaning in structural and narrative unity. Now we can take Blake's journey with a clearer grasp and share his levels of prophetic vision...and in a literary sense they become unique, multi-linear prophetic vision of individual perception.