“Liberation” by Marc Chagall, 1932
Here is a summary of the recent Section for Literary Arts & Humanities meeting of the local group in Fair Oaks, CA. This meeting occurred on June 12, 2021 via Zoom.
“At a Glance . . .”
We held our second poet’s salon for this year on June 12. We are lucky that the current constellation of members and friends contains several poets. Creative writing is an extremely important part of our Section work.
CLICK THIS SENTENCE to read the original poems that were shared at the meeting.
Poetry lovers also contributed. After the poets read original poems or original translations of poetry, then the other meeting participants shared a reading of a favorite poet.
What’s next? Original prose fiction?! Original drama?!
“¡Ah, Fausto! ¿Qué nueva trama confusa te ha susurrado Mefistófeles al oído?”
One thing I’ve noticed over the decades as a poet and novelist: a literary group can take on a personality that supports, encourages, and inspires all the individual group members to become creative — and often those members who at first do not consider themselves to be “creative” writers discover their voices. Of course, the opposite can just as likely occur! Voices fall silent, and the harsh “Thou shalt not!” gaze of the critical positivist intellect (“ratio” as Blake put it) wilts the rose. But with Blake and Novalis and Goethe on the team, I think we have fielded a varsity for the time at hand.
June 19, 2021
“What is Modernism(s) and Why Should I Give a Hoot(s)?” A very brief and somewhat witty introduction to the Zeitgeist of the 1920s (the decade of the Christmas Foundation Stone Event, 1923 / 1924) with a very very brief look at a representative text from 1922: James Joyce’s Ulysses. Has Romanticism really come of age? A lively short evening of multi-media musings.
“We are sometimes asked to say in a few words what Anthroposophy is. It is of course impossible. But let us in this context say that the kernel of Anthroposophy is the concept of man’s self-consciousness as a process in time – with all that this implies.”
— Owen Barfield, from the essay “The Time-Philosophy of Rudolf Steiner” in the collection Romanticism Comes of Age.
St. John’s Festival with music and a performance-reading of an original literary work.
(No, not The Fairy Tale. But a new and original translation of this foundational text by Goethe is now available for the 21st century. Click this sentence to read what Rudolf Steiner said about the “archetypal seed” of the anthroposophical movement: The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily.)
Ongoing Throughout Summer 2021
Marion’s Fairy Tale Circle got off to a magical start on June 7 with cakes and hot beverages. The group meets every two weeks outside on the post and beam porch overlooking a hidden garden (hortus conclusus). I don’t think there is space for more participants but contact Marion directly with any questions.
Michaelmas Tide, 2021
Michaelmas Tide, 2021: The Literary Arts and Humanities Section of the School for Spiritual Science in North America is planning to host an online Zoom event for friends and members in North America — and elsewhere. More information about this near-equinox event, including date and time and Zoom credentials, will be made available later in the season.
Fall / Winter, 2021 / 2022
“Poets and Landscapes.” Now in the concept stage: a Literary Arts project that will focus on literatures of California and landscapes in which such literature was imagined. This project will involve travel and hiking. Hikes will vary from very easy to very strenuous. (I’m assuming the Covid crisis will remain in abatement — if not . . . ) The project will host a close experiential look at the play between nature, elementals, and the being human. We will poetically and actively attempt to embody how landscape influences the creative word. We also will devote attention to the interpreted influences of Buddhism and Taoism on the imaginations of contemporary writers and poets in California and elsewhere, once and future.
“Tell me more . . .”
For details and a close look at the work of the local Fair Oaks group of friends and members of the Section of Literary Arts and Humanities of the School for Spiritual Science in North America and to keep track of what is happening in the Section generally, visit the website The LiteraryArts.com.
Click this sentence to read the original poems that were performed at the meeting on June 12, 2021.
Click this sentence to view Fred Dennehy’s 30-minute presentation “Owen Barfield: The Soul of a Word.”
“To be alone, if only for a few minutes, and to realize it with all one’s being, is a blessing we seldom think to implore. . . When we are one with ourselves the most insignificant blade of grass assumes its proper place in the universe.”
— Henry Miller, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch
“There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them . . .”
— Jane Hirshfield, “For What Binds Us”
“Stately, plump . . .”
— James Joyce, Ulysses
“It seemed to me that I had been transported into a country far away from this country, into an age remote from this age, that I stood in ancient Egypt and that I was listening to the speech of some highpriest of that land addressed to the youthful Moses.”
— James Joyce, Ulysses