Sunday, February 1, 2015

Le Gloire, a misanthrope's intellectual comedy

Sir, These are delicate matters; we all desire
To be told that we've the true poetic fire. 
But once, to one whose name I shall not mention,
I said, regarding some verse of his invention,
That gentlemen should rigorously control
That itch to write which often afflicts the soul;
That one should curb the heady inclination
To publicize one's little avocation;
And that in showing off one's works of art
One often plays a very clownish part. 

Fierce aesthetic dignity, enchanted tirades, fascinating contrasts ... such are the splendor that belong to le Gloire. With lofty ideals which one believes to be his/her destiny or mission in the world, maintained at all costs, whether his/her own life or those of others, and no matter how many of the latter, le Gloire's quest ebbs and flows between satire and authenticity. Worthy of genius, the results remain, evident for those who wouldn't recognize a masterpiece if it were placed in their hands by celestially winged cupids. 

A Winged Putto Sketching Cupid
Bas-relief of children playing, in a landscape
After François Bouchet

What damage is done to the world should no one successfully persuade le Gloire to write? Social evidence of failed understanding abound, compelling right action. Unaware of genius, the world's mild amusements represent a drive for recognition, but not distinction. That which distinguishes genius remains acute. 

Appropriate to le Gloire is that repressed energy necessary for driving forth superb forces of tact and skill to walk among the treacherous and savage race of men. Without which Alceste is merely a monster of vanity, like Don Juan or Tartuffe. And yet where else would we have genius reside?, but in the head of a moral realist, a master of perspectivism. 

Swallowed up by libertine fate, the doom of le Gloire is the failure to produce which becomes prophecy without divine intervention. 

Why worry about the masterpiece? Each day it grows
More gullible the artist; unfulfilled potential leads him by the nose.
To find a lesser version would fill him with delight,
And if he saw the best, he'd doubt his sight.

No comments: