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date: 20 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Marvell’s ‘The Garden’ was written twice, first in simple-seeing English and then in marmoreal Latin, the latter paving over the first, but beautifully, as with a Roman mosaic. The English poem, with its uncanny, solitary, misogynistic speaker, explores the strange phenomenon of consciousness, but more fundamentally of prosopopoeia, of a face spookily appearing before us in a text, and speaking. We cannot read ‘The Garden’ theologically and we cannot read it morally, either, although these discourses are awakened in it. Nor can we read ‘The Garden’ even from the point of view of common sense, because to do so would destroy the adventure of the spirit that it offers: an encounter with the aesthetic as a new category of experience. In ‘The Garden,’ art becomes compensation for the loss of eternally existing things above the sphere of the moon. The poem is a metaphysical event.

Keywords: aesthetics, art, consciousness, decay, ecology, metaphysics, poetry

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