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Reply To: In the Stillness of Love’s Madness, with Mythologist Norland Têllez

#73820
mythistorian
Participant

    Hi Stephen,

    Such a pleasure to begin to engage with you and our wider circle of readers. This is of course a topic that not only drew me to Campbell but which has remained central for me in my own career in mythological studies given my background in art and animation.

    Notwithstanding the stereotype of the “tortured artist,” I would like to cite one of the greatest artist in the history of the West, one whose unparalleled figurative art was and remains central to my own artistic endeavors, Michelangelo Buonarroti, whose poem “The Artist” fleshes out the appropriateness of the notion of death drive to describe the transcending movement of Art:

    THE ARTIST.

    Nothing the greatest artist can con-
    ceive

    That every marble block doth not
    confine

    Within itself; and only its design
    The hand that follows intellect can
    achieve.

    The ill I flee, the good that I believe,

    In thee, fair lady, lofty and divine
    Thus hidden lie; and so that death

    be mine

    Art, of desired success, doth me be-

    reave.

    Love is not guilty, then, nor thy fair
    face,

    Nor fortune, cruelty, nor great dis-
    dain

    Of my disgrace, nor chance nor des-

    tiny,

    If in thy heart both death and love find

    place

    At the same time. And if my humble

    brain,

    Burning, can nothing draw but death

    from thee.