By Inger Christensen

ISBN-10: 081121477X

ISBN-13: 9780811214773

Provided the American-Scandinavian PEN Translation Prize by way of Michael Hamburger, Susanna Nied's translation of alphabet introduces Inger Christensen's poetry to US readers for the 1st time. Born in 1935, Inger Christensen is Denmark's most sensible recognized poet. Her award-winning alphabet relies structurally on Fibonacci's series (a mathematical series during which every one quantity is the sum of the 2 earlier numbers), together with the alphabet. the attractive poetry herein displays a posh philosophical historical past, but has a visionary caliber, learning the metaphysical within the basic stuff of way of life. In alphabet, Christensen creates a framework of psalm-like kinds that spread like increasing universes, whereas crystallizing either the sweetness and the possibility of destruction that permeate our occasions.

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147 I agree with Corrington that if the ontological difference is a power for possibility and not a thing, then it might not be easily brought into view as things in experience are brought into view, and therefore it does remain “unthought” as he correctly suggests. 148 For example, while one may not be able to consider the feeling of possibility as easily as one would consider a pen or pencil while holding such objects, surely pens and pencils, while wielded, may be felt to possess different possibilities or powers (such as the power to serve as a paperweight or a prying tool) and this feeling is in no way completely hidden from immediate conscious experience, but is rather primarily encountered in everyday experience.

Peirce wrote that possibility means “something as yet undeveloped, since not presenting itself in actually objectified form, but capable of doing so at some future time, when all the conditions of its realization occur: latent, potential being. ”140 Thus, possibility is the power of a “whence”—an origin, which is always directed towards its “whither”—tending towards the future in actuality. ”142 Peirce’s idea that a chaotic nothingness gave rise to infinitesimally habit-forming tendencies seems very close to Schelling’s first “divine potential” (the first of three) found in the theo-cosmology of Schelling’s Freiheitschrift.

97 I would amend Ejsing’s mild criticism that Raposa’s work draws too heavily on medieval Scholasticism. 98 As Peirce put it, “The works of Duns Scotus have strongly influenced me. ”99 It is my contention, rather, that Raposa leans too far toward a young Hegelian or Roycean construal of Peirce. Raposa’s construal focuses on the scientifically social aspects of community, evolution, and a panentheism of love. Although Peirce’s philosophy of religion does admittedly resemble the scientific and social aspects of Hegel’s and Royce’s philosophy in the aspects upon which Raposa chooses to focus, and while there is much focus on Peirce’s God of absolute mind and its socially objective communal features, Raposa says little about Peirce’s vague God of common sense, or the depths of experience which provide for that vagueness in the form of possibility.

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Alphabet by Inger Christensen


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