Thursday, 30 April 2009

Prometheus Unbound

To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.

At the centre of the Demigorgon's culminating spell, is a remarkably compressed invocation of existence constituted 'as it is perceived' by the mind in its struggle for self-actualisation... Working with the terms of formal philosophy in 'On Life', Shelley says that 'Mind cannot create... it can only perceive". Demigorgon claims otherwise, stressing mind in its desiring and projective mode and in its determination to construct what it desires from the wreckage of history itself. 'Hope creates' the thought as 'thing'.

The Cambridge companion to Shelley

By Timothy Morton

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