Boy of Winander

Boy of Winander is a very interesting poem: it speaks of the center and the fringes. It speaks of a dislocating event of the center — of the self, I mean — that originates from the fringes — nature. Perhaps this is not all that surprising. But the gist of the poem refers to issues beyond mere logics, but rather, it speaks of an arising that seems to await, perhaps, the right logics. Is logics even the right word here? The situation here is incomplete, I mean — we speak of ‘enters unawares’. It’s not clear that a definite configuartion is formed, in the mind of the boy — nor can we say that it is merely a retrospective ordering by the speaker. (Perhaps it is a ‘perfect’ ordering, in, yes, a speculative, abstract sense, but also in the sense that it gets at cultural arisings of power, which are themselves, too, necessarily incomplete — I mean, based on incompletely formed things.)

But, as I was saying, the gist of this poem is not towards the logical explaining of this moment, why it arose (rather, that this moment arose is taken for granted — this is not all that far out, if we consider that we too, have similar such moments, or even that every moment of dim awareness first exists in such an unformed state) — but rather, the gist is towards the … historical origins of this moment, which is why I find it so interesting. (This may feel a bit unsatisfying, as our basic, perhaps unwitting, inclination is still to understand a work as a logical configuration or a closed circle rather than as an open-ended historical moment.)

Basically, figures are not caused by a system but rather await a moment of arising. (The question is, how does this relate to power?) Our own moments of awareness, of dim awareness, occur in such a way too, though eventually we may come to justify them somehow.

I do not have yet the capacity to answer this question (I will need to think this over, I mean, not that it’s impossible) — but the question is: how does the poem attempt to trace the history of this delayed arising (2) what is the role of Wordsworth in this process, and (3) how does this relate to cultural history?


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