Thursday, November 8, 2007

Interlude: Unsolicited Promotional(s)

I want to draw the attention of my huge community of readers to a blog that I recently discovered and by which I've been impressed: Postmodern Papist. The owner, Kyle Cupp, posts some timely and intelligent stuff that I find to be conducive to contemplation.

It turns out that Kyle also has a very talented wife, Genece, an artist, whose works can be sampled here.

You should visit Kyle's blog to become engaged in what's happening through interaction with an active, wide-ranging, and intelligent mind.

You should take a look at Genece's art because, as Simone Weil puts it in the pages on beauty in Gravity and Grace,

In everything which gives us the pure authentic feeling of beauty there really is the presence of God. There is as it were an incarnation of God in the world and it is indicated by beauty.
The beautiful is the experimental proof that the incarnation is possible.
Hence all art of the highest order is religious in essence. (That is what people have forgotten today.) A Gregorian melody is as powerful a witness as the death of a martyr.

and because, as indicated by the following, beauty can be an occasion of detachment from the snares of the material world:

Beauty: a fruit which we look at without trying to seize it.

But do seize the links.


Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

Interesting quotes on beauty. The second one is particularly fascinating because it illustrates the difference between love and lust. Beauty elicits love, as a quote of which Kyle is fond says. I've heard that love is the movement toward a good thing. Yet while that logically (if both are true) would mean we are moved toward beauty, beauty is not something to be grasped at. A subtle difference very interestingly illustrated. By the way, is there a source for that second quote?

Rodak said...

The second quote is also from the section on beauty in "Gravity and Grace."
Very nice quote from Helprin. Thanks for drawing my attention to it.

Kyle R. Cupp said...

Thank you for the kind words and recommendable links to our blogs, Rodak. We appreciate it! - Kyle & Genece

Madscribe said...

"I want to draw the attention of my huge community of readers."

Be thankful that you both have elite quality in your ranks, as opposed to petite quantity ... (LOL)

Kyle, I liked your piece on violence. Are you familiar with this author's writing?

Madscribe said...

From Kyle:
"A man who uses evil means in pursuit of good designs will eventually corrupt his conscience, and with it, his designs."

I don't necessarily see "using evil" (actually, I would say an understanding of evil) "in pursuit of good designs" as a necessarily bad things, depending upon actual intent and effect. After all, isn't that what Jesus meant by being "humble as a dove, wise as a serpent"? Matthew 10:16

Rodak said...

You can get my take on "wise as a serpent" here.

Rodak said...

Actually, to get the whole bit on the serpent, you also need to go here.

Kyle R. Cupp said...


I had not read Vance until your links, although I am an occasional reader of Vance doesn’t leave much wiggle room, does he?

As for doing evil for a good end, a) I don’t see that Jesus’ use of the serpent metaphor justifies commiting evil, as the image of the serpent can mean something good or evil depending on how its used; and b) it’s counter-productive. Even should the intent and the results are good, any act of evil damages the soul and builds the habit of sin called vice. Shakespeare and Tolkien gave telling literary depictions of what happens to those who begin with good intentions for small evil deeds, but are slowly yet surely corrupted until they are filled with vice and lose touch with their own selves.

Rodak said...

The serpent has most characteristically been used in world mythology as a symbol of wisdom, rather than as a symbol of evil.

Madscribe said...

Kyle, I think Rodak is closer to my point. I wasn's suggesting that the verse is a New Testament equivalent of "the ends justify the means."

It's not that one does evil for good's sake, it's that one has to be aware of evil, even "snake" around it. You can't be so innocent-minded in life (as opposed to innocent-acting) that you end up being the spiritual equivalent of the guy on the subway train that thinks the three-card-monte huckster is his friend.

On the flip side, it's nice to have discourse with two cyber-gentleman such as yourselves, who rise above the intellectual level of a Hannity-and-Colmes blogfest.

Kyle R. Cupp said...

Sorry, my mistook...I mean, my mistake.

I've never been a huge fan of the Hannity-and-Colmes theatrics that pass for debate. It sells, though.