A PALETTE OF WORDS, TONES, AND COLOURS Страница 9 of 13
The treatment of metamorphoses as identifications and thence as inexhaustible sources of self-knowledge and experiences of the déjà vu type is a poetic device used by many authors writing in Swedish and representatives of a tradition referred to as the intermediate step, setting apart and, at the same time, uniting modernism and mysticism. Tomas Tranströmer occupies his deserved place in this brilliant constellation together with August Strindberg (1849-1912), Gustaf Fröding (1860-1911), Birger Sjöberg (1885-1929), Edith Södergran (1892-1923), Elmer Diktonius (1896-1961), Harry Martinson (1904-1978) , Gunnar Ekelöf (1907-1968), Erik Lindegren (1910-1968), Werner Aspenström (1918-1997), Ragnar Thoursie (1919-2010)… He is akin also to their specific Nordic sensitivity and the lyrical trance when the Ego dissolves in the universe, the time in timelessness, and to the continuity in the ideological, aesthetic and spiritual cravings felt in the ”secular prayers” as some critics describe his poems, seeking for them an appropriate religious framework which is assumed but never visibly outlined by the poet. Among his cicerones in the realm of spiritual knowledge and dedication he mentions mainly Augustine (354-430), Dante (1265-1321), Meister Eckhart (1260-1327/28) and the Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). The doctrine of correspondences based on the idea about the spiritual projections of objects and phenomena in the physical world and vice versa has always been an integral part of European mysticism but in Swedenborg’s theosophical system it acquires a new dimension, both theoretical and applied, universally acknowledged in the field of sciences but also in the sphere of arts. Tranströmer has always been fascinated with the method of analogy, one of its main elements, considered by many writers, artists and thinkers (Goethe, Blake, Schopenhauer, Balzac, Poe, Dostoyevski, Strindberg, Jung, Borges, Milosz, Paz, Bergman, Gyllensten, Gaugin, Miles, Berlioz, Schönberg…) as a key tool in philosophy, literature, music, painting, architecture etc., for the creation and decoding of associative imagery and symbolism, for a poeticized recreation of the absolute. The importance of this method finds its confirmation in a considerable part of poets (Whitman, Baudelaire, Yeats, Södergran, Pound, Ekelöf, Brodsky…) inspired as is Tomas Tranströmer by the opportunities it provides for transcending the barriers of words in order to break into the space of the universal and the symbolic reflections that mirror it.
Without incorporating Swedenborgianism in his own specific complex of ideas and aesthetic perceptions Tranströmer uses the doctrine of correspondences as a peculiar aesthetic formula allowing the perception of the Universe as an infinite totality of mutually related worlds, as some kind of prosody or a majestic poem made of rhythm and symbols, of words, tones and colours. The primordial interpenetration of poetry and music has been justifiably considered as a tested and efficient way for artists to communicate with the rest of the world, and to subtly convey ideas, messages and moods with the devices of these two arts merged into one. Their transformation into a genuine aesthetic palette, but also into a science developed over the centuries, ensues from their blending with a third art, that is pictorial art whose colours resonate harmoniously with the notes, also vibrations, and with the words, producing an impact on the two major human senses, vision and hearing, as well as on the brain.