What Mark Patrick Hederman articulates in The Haunted Inkwell
presents compelling implications: ''The artist has a very precise and indispensable role to play. It is certainly not everything, but it is something akin to yeast in dough. Its accurate and pervasive participation allow every part of the whole loaf to take a certain contour. Without this specific ingredient, the whole batch remains flat and cannot achieve its purpose or assume the shape it was intended to take.'' Of particular note in this passage are the words ''accurate'' and ''pervasive.'' To quote Martin Heidegger, it is necessary, ''by thinking our way soberly into what poetry says, to come to learn what is unspoken. That is the course of the history of Being.'' An Irishman by birth and a monk by vocation, Hederman chooses James Joyce and Seamus Heaney as primary examples of yeasty prophets, as well as the novels of Iris Murdoch and the plays of Wole Soyinka. He makes no claims his aim is original, but he wishes to testify to the truths he has gleaned from ''following behind artists, harvesting possible shapes for the future.'' If art is understood as the place where the truth of Being manifests itself, then art cannot be delegated to the ''experts'' but must be engaged intentionally by each of us. New copy with slight tear at lower spine crease.
An Eighth Day View:
Taking a line from James Joyce as his title, the author shows how art can be our compass in destitute times. He uses the works of Seamus Heaney, James Joyce, Rainer Maria Rilke, Wole Soyinka, and Iris Murdoch to illustrate how this can be done.