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Transfigurings : beauty, wonder and the noumenal.

Evans, H. M. (2012) 'Transfigurings : beauty, wonder and the noumenal.', Transfigurings : the world, wonder and beauty. Durham, England, 14 June 2012.


Encounter (1) The ash tree at twilight – an epiphany explored. I was simply standing in the garden one evening looking at the late spring sky above me, through the canopy of a large ash tree whose every leaf and twig was picked out in black against the indigo sky. As my eyes adjusted to the dwindling light, the three dimensional array of the tree’s infinitely elaborate structure fixated me, and I was able to savour its precise and almost granular penetration of the air around it. The space it occupied in turn seemed to take on the quality of a mould, a mould of minute intricacy whose every hollow channel was perfectly fitted by the filigree of tree-stuff that had, as it were, been poured or breathed into it. Although in one sense a more unscientific view of the tree’s actual growth could hardly be imagined, the perception of the tree’s infusing a space that was ready to receive it does have a picturesque relation to the Darwinian thought that living things exist simply and precisely because they can, and that every grain of organic nature occupies that location to which it is, at the time of occupation, most perfectly fitted. Finally, like so much aspect-perception, this perception too could after a while be switched at will with the ordinary perception of the tree as fixed, the fluid air flowing and wrapping gently around it. It was, if you like, an altered conception of space and form, and it was most definitely wonderful while it lasted.

Item Type:Conference item (Paper)
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Status:Not peer-reviewed
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Record Created:05 Jul 2012 10:50
Last Modified:11 Jul 2012 09:20

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