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

#73820

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.