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Is the author's life relevant? YES, NO, BUT...


1. I have been reflecting upon this subject since I understood that St. Josemaria ESCRIVA's "unity of life" was an ideal to strive for in all of human activities. And artistic creativity is not an exemption.

2. I fully agree with what JOHN PAUL II says in his "Letter to Artists" when he mentions other representations of Beauty that are "in the way" as "semina Verbi" and allow us to see the light of Redemption fighting for its disclosure "through a glass darkly" until it finds its plenitude.

3. I have been reading Alfonso LOPEZ QUINTAS, Spanish philopher's plight to bring Ethics and Creativity together in order to help artists discover the immense transfiguration power art has (cfr. El poder transfigurador del arte. Ediciones PROMESA, San Jose, Costa Rica, 2003). Lopez Quintas has been able to coin a clue: "vertigo"-"extasis" to help artists understand how art lives under this tension, polarized between these two extremes. Lopez Quintas has initiated a valuable endeavour through his ESCUELA DE PENSAMIENTO Y CREATIVIDAD in order to help artists find their way between these two forces that dispute the artist's heart.

4. Trying to follow St Josemaria's "unity of life" ideal, I "threaded" through Ignacio De Celaya's study of this theme and applied it both to the artists'work and personality (Cfr. Helena OSPINA, "Arte y Persona", Congreso de Cultura Europea, Universidad de Navarra 1996, Actas del Congreso, 1998).


I have read attentively Jose Migue IBANEZ LANGLOIS' "La creacion poetica" where he mistrusts the validity of a connection existing between "art's worth" and "artist's life". I agree with him that art has its authonomy and has to be valued under this perspective, independantly from "biographical anecdotes" that can clear up some details to understand its "sense", but are in no way responsible for its aesthetic value that has to lie in the harmony existing between "sound and sense".

2. I did my undergraduate studies at Georgetown University and my Senior Essay (1966) was on Paul VALERY: "Mon Faust: De l'idole de l'intellect a la sagesse du coeur". I tackled with his lifetime struggle: the preference of intellect over heart. And showed how in "Mon Faust" he had attained the maturity so long fought for in his own personality. In Poetics, Valery's thesis is that "form" (sound) is what counts. And if he had to choose between "sound" and "sense", he would prefer "sound", although he vouches always for the unity between sound and sense as the true seal of beauty in poetry (as does Ibanez Langlois).

BUT: the unity of person calls for a strife to unite both life and work.

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