07 May 2007

Inspired lately?

Has anyone at the end of the nineteenth century a distinct conception of what poets of strong ages called inspiration? If not, I will describe it.— If one had the slightest residue of superstition left, one would hardly be able to set aside the idea that one is merely incarnation, merely mouthpiece, merely medium of overwhelming forces. The concept of revelation, in the sense that something suddenly, with unspeakable certainty and subtlety, becomes visible, audible, something that shakes and overturns one to the depths, simply describes the fact. One hears, one does not seek; one takes, one does not ask who gives; a thought flashes up like lightning, with necessity, unfalteringly formed— I have never had any choice. (Nietzsche in Marra, 2002: 17)