IN PERSIA I SAW that poetry is meant to be set to music & chanted or sung--for one reason alone--because it works. A right combination of image & tune plunges the audience into a hal (something between emotional
aesthetic mood & trance of hyperawareness), outbursts of weeping, fits of dancing--measurable physical response to art. For us the link between poetry & body died with the bardic era--we read under the influence of a cartesian anaesthetic gas.
When I reflect that the task which the artist implicitly sets himself is to overthrow existing values, to make of the chaos about him an order which is his own, to sow strife and ferment so that by the emotional release those who are dead may be restored to life, then it is that I run with joy to the great and imperfect ones, their confusion nourishes me, their stuttering is like divine music to my ears.
A person deprived of beauty and pleasure puts me in mind of the Haitian notion of a zombie - a person disconnected from his or her soul, a person who works for others' profit but never his own, a person who mindlessly does the bidding of the boss and exists in an emotional and mental limbo.
The emotional wisdom of the heart is simple. When we accept our human feelings, a remarkable transformation occurs. Tenderness and wisdom arise naturally and spontaneously. Where we once sought strength over others, now our strength becomes our own; where we once sought to defend ourselves, we laugh.
Animators do amazing working translating and interpolating the characters [in the Planet of the apes], the facial performances. What we're creating on set - if you don't get it on the day, in the moment, on set, in front of the camera, with the director and the actors. The emotional content of the scene and the acting choices.
If the play works in an emotional and engaging way purely from what's on the page, then what's on the stage will be the icing on the cake. If the play didn't work as a play on its own terms, none of the magic, none of the special effects or theatricality of it all, would add up to anything.
Our churches are filled with Christians who are idling in intellectual neutral. As Christians, their minds are going to waste. One result of this is an immature, superficial faith. People who simply ride the roller coaster of emotional experience are cheating themselves out of a deeper and richer Christian faith by neglecting the intellectual side of that faith.
Where do whites fit in the New Africa? Nowhere, I'm inclined to sayand I do believe that it is true that even the gentlest and most westernised Africans would like the emotional idea of the continent entirely without the complication of the presence of the white man for a generation or two. But nowhere, as an answer for us whites, is in the same category as remarks like What's the use of living? in the face of the threat of atomic radiation. We are living; we are in Africa.