Interior Paramour

Episode Three Hundred Fourteen: Interior Paramour.
In which old apartments come to visit.

1 comment:

  1. 'Where old apartments come to visit' was one of the original 'Art' lines in this strip, dating back to its earliest inception several decades ago. It referred to dreams, narratives of inspiration in which past selves, represented as apartments (or so I interpret) stop by my consciousness for a brief cuppa.

    My dreams are always about places: fields, woods, or apartments. Mostly apartments. Old apartments in which I used to live, with sloping floors and poorly-fitted doors. They never actually existed, but they did exist. And there are often surprise doors that I hadn't noticed before, leading to entirely new rooms, second apartments, that were always there, but never discovered or utilized. These rooms similarly dilapidated, but it's still a treasure to discover them.

    I rarely dream about other people.

    I'd had a dream about an old apartment, and was thinking of that line.

    Wallace Stevens coming visiting, too; the phrase 'interior paramour' ringing around my skull. So I looked up 'Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour', which I take to be a later poem - written in the 50's, perhaps. It speaks of the act of lighting that first interior light at the end of the day. As darkness falls, we take an action against that darkness, an assertion of agency, and this - in a familiar Stevens theme - is the agency of the Imagination, which itself creates order against the chaos of night. There is a communal sense in this evening ritual, and, in this way, this act of the Imagination is the act of what we formerly referred to as 'God'; it is the "intensest rendezvous," it comforts us regardless of our place in the universe.

    The poem contains the phrase "in the evening air", which echoes Theodore Roethke's poem "In Evening Air" (though likely predates by at least a decade). Roethke's evening, however, is an opposing image:

    I see, in evening air,
    How slowly dark comes down on what we do.

    Stevens' sense of community, however, is reminiscent of Jung's Collective Unconscious, which does thematically connect it with Roethke. That said, I have no idea whether Stevens had any contact with Jung's theories.



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