By T. F. Powys
'A village is sort of a level that keeps an analogous surroundings all through the entire acts of the play. The actors come and cross, and stroll from side to side, with gestures that their passions reasonable or foul use them to... a rustic village has a manner sometimes of clearing out all its population in a single rush, as if it have been grown bored with that exact blend of human destinies, and shakes itself freed from them as a tree may well do of unwelcome leaves..'
The motion of T.F. Powys' blackly soaking up, deeply attribute Innocent Birds unfolds within the English croft of Madder, an ostensibly sleepy and settled milieu the place the local community, still, are liable to performing on impulses and urges that experience the ability to convey themselves (and others) to ruin.
'There is Mr. Bugby, who buys "The Silent Woman" a result of sinister twist of fate that successive keepers of that tavern have been rapidly widowed. there's Maud Chick, an imbecile lady longing to have a toddler, whom Mr. Bugby avoids after one event; and Polly Wimple, prim leave out Pettifer's maid whom he doesn't stay away from, to her nice fee. A cormorant, faraway from the ocean, that flaps and roosts arbitrarily at nightfall at any time when whatever in particular morbid or malicious is set to occur, is an apt metaphor for a shadowy flight of the author's imagination...'
Time, June 1926
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With his more lenient St. Anthony side he pleads for a creative approach to life, which ultimately leads to China. China is only attainable when one has a proper relationship with art. “By living into his art,” Miller explains, “he adopts for his world an intermediary realm in which he is all-powerful, a world which he dominates and rules” (WOH, 7). The art’s role is thus essentially intermediary. Art is only a means to life, to the life more abundant. It is not in itself the life more abundant.
The full present for Miller is fundamentally a possibility, a beginning. It is the absolution of time and the salvation of the modern artist. He explains: … And finally, it is not the past which matters at all, because when we come into the full present [my italic] the past is there and future too and neither are frightening or bewildering. In the full present which is the living moment, we join forces with past and future … we forget and enjoy, and remember everything. (112) Together with Walt Whitman, Miller thus rejects the time qua historical time, but, as an artist, welcomes it universally, or “accepts it absolutely” (63).
The hero, then, is not Time, but Timelessness,” wrote Miller in the very first page of the book (CAN, 1). While “time” can be read here both historically and as a temporal category in a metaphysical sense, in either case the failure is evident for Miller. Historically, modern times have failed to produce the better man and world that “our heroes” of the Enlightenment era dreamt about. Miller is fighting against a notion of time that is embedded in the very metaphysics of the age, a metaphysics that is commonly taken to support the linear concept of history.