Screenwriting. A blessing, a curse, a responsibility?

H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) 1886 – 1961

H.D. believed passionately that Beauty and Goodness belonged together and declared that the world will not be sustained, will not exist, without that classic ancient Beauty.  She extended the reach of her symbol to a definition that is central to her concept of art: “Beauty, among other things, is reality…Beauty brings a curse, a blessing, a responsibility.” 

She also believed in the sacred responsibility appropriate to the artist within the new film medium of her day.

The accurate presentation of Beauty is a sacred trust; a “silver goddess” image, for example, could function as an eidolon, a mystical evocation of deeper meanings, an inner reality, the “something beyond something.”

That sacred responsibility applied to film-maker as to poet. In Trilogy, H.D. affirms the sacred role of the poet, insisting that the “scribe” must have “protection” – he takes precedence of the priest, stands second only to the Pharaoh.

For H.D. both the art of poetry and the art of film were responsible for the evocation of deeper truths. She believed, as did the Romantic poets, that the gifted artist, said to be “inspired by the muse”, has a conduit to the divine, which takes form to human senses in the beautiful work of art. In Trilogy, her poetics shapes the symbolic presences of a mother-goddess and feminine Holy Spirit who emanates poetry’s spiritual power – the power of words in themselves – to bring resurrection and peace to a devastated world.

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