I believe we truly are at the beginning of a new age. Some of us can feel it in our bones and in the air. The entire twentieth century was preparing us for it. It will make the sixties look like the kindergarten of the soul. Since my primary interests are art and literature, that is all I will vouch for, yet I have a hunch I am talking about the entire spectrum of human activity.
Understanding is no longer the most important thing in art and literature. Perhaps it hasnt been for some time, but for sure it is no longer. The rational approach plays second fiddle to the intuitive approach. We are returning to the native humility of the craftsman allied with the pride of the revolutionary—or just the rebel bereft of any ideology that might identify him with this or that revolution. Art as a necessary act of naked and raw revolt, which is pure individualism; thinking, feeling, responding differently than is expected by a conformist and mainstream society.
Knowing what a work of art is about is not as important as entering into its spirit, no matter how liberal or conservative that spirit may be. If any understanding is to happen, that is where it must take place. Not in the logic or rationale of its meaning, but in its mystery, its magic, its relation not to technology, industry, ideology, but to the high it evokes in our consciousness. To the atavistic impulse it calls forth, the apprehension—emotional, spiritual, intellectual—of a world beyond Cartesian thought and the machinations of patriarchy, authority and the tyranny of rogue reason.
The new age I speak of transcends the destructive social divisions those have created and, by breathing the pure air of a more winsome and liberating attitude to existence, creates an art and literature that appeal to the entire man, precisely by notifying him that his faculty of understanding has lost its privileged place and has been supplanted by that essentially rebellious and mystical sense (which every child understands) called wonder, the sense that, in my highest and deepest moments, confirms my fleeting hunches as to why I am incarnate.
It is with this sense that I believe we must now increasingly approach works of art and literature. Not a new sense—an old sense, indeed—but the one that works best for a new age such as that which is now upon us.