Sunday, May 29, 2011


1.) Let me begin with your concern about “the effect of visual, communal images (via television) upon the survival of literacy.” In the first place, television does not present a visual image, but an X-ray icon which penetrates our entire organism. Joyce called it "the charge of the light barricade"—part of the Crimean war against mankind. Stained-glass images are not visual either, since they are defined by light through, as in Rouault paintings. The structure of these images is audile-tactile, as in abstract art, both of Symbolist and Cubist kind.

2.) The patterns of formerly hidden processes now begin to obtrude on every hand. Prescience, prophetic vision, and artistic awareness are no longer needed to establish an understanding of the most secret causes of personal and social processes. Mere electric speedup makes X-ray awareness natural.

3.) Some feel that Christianity's existence must always stand in the tension between being in the world and standing outside it. Kierkegaard was keenly aware of this, as were St. Paul and, later, Martin Luther. But the tension between inner and outer is a merely visual guideline, and in the age of the X-ray inner and outer are simultaneous events.

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