By Guy Davenport
Within the forty essays that represent this assortment, man Davenport, certainly one of America's significant literary critics, elucidates quite a number literary historical past, encompassing literature, paintings, philosophy and tune, from the ancients to the grand previous males of modernism.
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Extra info for The Geography of the Imagination
Marshack's reinvestigation with microscope a salmon with its mouth open. Moreover, he identifies the pip that appears in the salmon's mouth at the spawning season. And why is the salmon pictured with a seal? Because, Mr. Marshack explains, seals at this time (as we know from fossils) followed the salmon far up inland rivers. And a squiggle of tiny lines in the composition with the salmon and seal turns out under the microscope to be a flower. The images become a story: spring, spawning, the earth coming to life again.
Trees. " It is surprising that ethnologists have not applied their knowledge of primitive thought to the reading of prehistory. It is among primitive metaphysics that the symbolic grammar of paleolithic signs will have survived, if it has survived. ) Why not take a Dogan cosmologist to these mysterious bones and ask him to read them? If the master Dogan metaphysician Ogotemmeli, the blind old wizard who explained the earth, fate, and the stars (star by star) to the French ethnologist Marcel Griaule, could have been enticed into an aliplani (as he called it) and taken to the caves of the Dordogne, God knows what he could have explained.
The lozenges are actually the same as the rectangles on the left of the door, but tilted, to indicate that the ark in its fall spu n like a leaf. Space is four-cornered ( witness t h e solstices a n d equinoxes) ; hence lozenges. The dots are stones for the primal field. The left-hand column also represents the ark and the stages of its descent. Its rectangles are the lozenges oriented properly, as space when the ark had landed settled down to a constant up, a constant down, and the cardinal direc tions were then established.