Wednesday, October 24, 2007

H.D. and myth, a quick note


















Whenever you're immersed in H.D.'s work, you're in the thick of myth - classical myth, and personal myth that's often been assimilated to it.

I ran across a statement by director Sergio Leone a few weeks ago in which he might have been speaking for Hilda, as well as himself:

The important thing is to make a different world. To make a world that is not. Now. A real world, a genuine world, but one that allows myth to live. The myth is everything. (1)

Once the myths are understood, the occasions of her work are opened. For me, the surprise of her work, re-encountered now decades after my first reading, is that, for all the apparent indirections and mythic frames, so much of it is finally just white hot. Beginning to end, she could find the world - or create the world - that allowed myth to live.

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(1) Sergio Leone in an American Film interview, quoted on the box of the VHS edition of Once Upon a Time in America.

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