THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK
Go Back   THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK > Discussion & Interpretation > Quotation Forum > Other Author Quotations
Home Forums Content Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Contagion Members Media Diversion Info Register
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes Translate
Old 05-10-2017   #1
Matthias M.'s Avatar
Matthias M.
Mannikin
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 48
Quotes: 0
Points: 4,595, Level: 46 Points: 4,595, Level: 46 Points: 4,595, Level: 46
Level up: 23% Level up: 23% Level up: 23%
Activity: 21% Activity: 21% Activity: 21%
Clark Ashton Smith on fantasy

Dear members,

I have a question concerning the end of Clark Ashton Smith’s essay with the title ‚On Fantasy‘. There one can read the following:

“In this phantom whirl of the infinite, among these veils of Maya that are sevenfold behind sevenfold, nothing is too absurd, too lovely, or dreadful to be impossible.”

I assume what Smith wants to say here is that everything, even the ‘too absurd’, has the potential to be possible. As Geoffrey Reiter writes in his book titled 'The Unique Legacy of Weird Tales': "The universe itself, the real world, is for Smith but a multiform fantasy. Thus the sophisticated fantasy writers can create fictions that are no less real than the world around them."

But if we look exactly at the phrase ‘too absurd to be impossible’, this means that the ‘too absurd’ is highly possible. To look at another example, the phrase ‘too good to be true’ means that the ‘too good’ cannot be true. Likewise the phrase ‘too absurd to be impossible’ means that the ‘too absurd’ cannot be impossible.

So far so good. But Smith is negating this statement, for he is saying that ‘nothing’ is ‘too absurd to be impossible’. So he is negating that the ‘too absurd’ cannot be impossible.

Do I have an error in my reasoning here or what does Smith want to say with the phrase from his essay?

Thanks in advance.

Warmly, Matthias
Matthias M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanks From:
miguel1984 (05-10-2017)
Old 05-10-2017   #2
Ibrahim
Chymist
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 376
Quotes: 0
Points: 4,788, Level: 47 Points: 4,788, Level: 47 Points: 4,788, Level: 47
Level up: 19% Level up: 19% Level up: 19%
Activity: 50% Activity: 50% Activity: 50%
Re: Clark Ashton Smith on fantasy

Well, since Maya is ( unless i'm mistaken ) a Vedic term implying the illusion of appearance - it doesn't really matter. The illusion of impossible absurdity is equally real as the illusion of absurd impossibility.

"What can a thing do with a thing, when it is a thing?"
-Shaykh Ibn Al 'Arabi
Ibrahim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2017   #3
Matthias M.'s Avatar
Matthias M.
Mannikin
Threadstarter
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 48
Quotes: 0
Points: 4,595, Level: 46 Points: 4,595, Level: 46 Points: 4,595, Level: 46
Level up: 23% Level up: 23% Level up: 23%
Activity: 21% Activity: 21% Activity: 21%
Re: Clark Ashton Smith on fantasy

Can you please explain what the difference is between an impossible absurdity and an absurd impossibility? I have problems to relate it to my question. Perhaps to clarify my issue, I think Smith should have written: 'Nothing is too absurd to be possible. '
Matthias M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2017   #4
Matthias M.'s Avatar
Matthias M.
Mannikin
Threadstarter
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 48
Quotes: 0
Points: 4,595, Level: 46 Points: 4,595, Level: 46 Points: 4,595, Level: 46
Level up: 23% Level up: 23% Level up: 23%
Activity: 21% Activity: 21% Activity: 21%
Re: Clark Ashton Smith on fantasy

To make my inquiry a bit clearer, I have rephrased Smith's quote:

There is no thing (or thought) that is 'too absurd to belong to the realm of impossibility'.

Some thing that is too absurd to belong to the realm of the impossible belongs to the realm of the possible. Since such things are negated in Smith’s quote, there are no too absurd things within the bounds of possibility.
Matthias M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2017   #5
Ibrahim
Chymist
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 376
Quotes: 0
Points: 4,788, Level: 47 Points: 4,788, Level: 47 Points: 4,788, Level: 47
Level up: 19% Level up: 19% Level up: 19%
Activity: 50% Activity: 50% Activity: 50%
Re: Clark Ashton Smith on fantasy

Smith's mention of Maya in the original quote is quite significant.

Look; in my left hand i am holding the illusion of a pear, and in my right hand, the illusion of an orange. How do they differ in taste?
They don't; illusions have no taste.

"What can a thing do with a thing, when it is a thing?"
-Shaykh Ibn Al 'Arabi
Ibrahim is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
ashton, clark, clark ashton smith, fantasy, impossible, smith
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Clark Ashton Smith Odalisque General Discussion 58 03-09-2017 01:03 AM
Proposed Clark Ashton Smith documentary Gnosticangel Other Authors 0 05-06-2016 12:34 AM
The sculptures of Clark Ashton Smith MagnusTC Art 10 03-11-2012 01:38 PM
The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith Ligeia Authors 4 12-26-2008 09:43 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:20 PM.



Style Based on SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER as Published by Silver Scarab Press
Design and Artwork by Harry Morris
Emulated in Hell by Dr. Bantham
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Template-Modifications by TMS