EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772), AUGUST STRINDBERG (1849-1912) Страница 10 of 12
In analogy, seen as a science of correspondences, everything is a metaphor of something else, which makes it applicable as a poetics; in fact, the doctrine of correspondences at large has provided philosophical and ideological impetus for a number of cultural and historical phenomena and processes. Among them particularly notable are the “transcendental revolution” of the Romantics (Novalis, Schelling), French symbolism (Baudelaire, Nerval, Mallarmé, Rimbaud), dodecaphony in music (Schönberg, Webern) modern painting, in which object and idea, color and spirit are closely bound up with each other (Van Gogh, Gaugin), the lyrical trance at the merging of Nature, man and God in Scandinavian poetry (Wergeland, Wecksell, Södergran, Diktonius, Ekelöf ) etc. Spanning its applications in the culture of more than two centuries, the doctrine incorporates this culture in the universal set of mystical liaisons, which is probably as old as human civilization. Swedenborg’s perception of the Universe as a gigantic spiritually energized ensemble of signs and symbols has inspired and motivated many minds virtually all over the world. The causes and the effects of our interest in Swedenborgianism, which has been rising, especially since the second half of the 19th century, deserve consideration. Special attention should be paid to the aesthetic aspect of Swedenborg’s ideas, with their openness towards free interpretations and impulses, towards various associations and juxtapositions. This openness plays a key role in inscribing the intellectual and artistic aspirations of the different ages in the context of ancient cultural traditions, the traditions of several consecutive civilizations in human history. Swedenborg’s purposeful ambition to reveal, to sustain and to perpetuate the continuity of this tendency is remarkable in itself, especially in the conditions of the Scandinavian North, where these ideas took more time to take root than elsewhere in Europe. One of the outstanding representatives of Sweden’s Enlightenment, Swedenborg has made a major contribution to the country’s opening towards Europe. He had a role to play in the process both with his empirical research and with his physical and theological doctrine of the eternal workings of the Universe. In a similar way, a century later, August Strindberg provides a general perspective on Europe’s aesthetic experience in his novel Red Room (1879), integrating it in a parochial setting which he then transforms into a continental environment. In his scathing criticism of Swedish social mores, Strindberg invariably supports the European alternative, which presents him as a bold thinker ahead of his time, ready to pay, like Swedenborg, a high price for his unorthodox ideas.
The Swedish poet Gunnar Ekelöf (1907-1968), in whose poetry one could discern Swedenborgian motifs, argues in his book devoted to painter Ivan Aguéli (1869-1920) (another admirer of Swedenborg) that Sweden’s universal genius is radically different from, say, the genius of the Italian Renaissance, because in the
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