Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Corbin

For years I've been following Tom Cheetham's blog on the philosopher, orientalist, and theologian Henry Corbin. I have finally decided to unfollow, not because Tom's blog isn't splendid, scholarly, and beautifully written (it is all those things), but just because I realised today that I have never once been able to fathom, even in the slightest degree, what the bloody hell Corbin is supposed to be on about. To me, his writings always seem like some wierd-ass Gnostic angelology commented on by Ibn 'Arabi but then rewritten by Jacques Lacan. And yet he has all these links with Jung and Hillman and Eckhart and lots of other things I not only really like but which I also know something about. It drives me absolutely crazy.

Humph.

3 comments:

Tom Cheetham said...

loved your post.... try my first book if you haven't already, it MIGHT help. or maybe not. anyway thanks for trying! :) it took me many years to try to figure Corbin out - my books are the results of the attempt - but if they don't help it would not surprise me - he is unique.

Bo said...

Ha! I was hoping you'd comment Tom. :) I have been meaning to get your book for ages, so now I actually will. I just feel overpoweringly ignorant in the face of him.

Tom Cheetham said...

really Bo, so many people are put off by the difficulty - which is too bad. I would suggest you just sit & read Corbin's "Alone with the Alone - Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi" and just ignore the parts that don't help - it has a kind of magical ability to transmit meaning anyway - I know this because I have taught it (rarely) to wholly unprepared students who find it beautiful and productively disconcerting anyway! Many other works of his ARE probably a bit much - start with Creative Imagination.

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