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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Responding to a commenter at Unz,

I added this about Swedenborg:




All of Swedenborg's writing is available online. His conception of heavens and hells allows, or charges, each man with total responsibility for his destiny, for with each thought, word and action, he shapes and expresses his heavenly or hellish condition.

Swedenborg was very important to Blake, Milosz and Borges, and Henry James Sr. was a Swedenborgian.

Among Borges' writing about Swedenborg is this poem:

Emanuel Swedenborg

Más alto que los otros, caminaba
Aquel hombre lejano entre los hombres;
Apenas si llamaba por sus nombres
Secretos a los ángeles. Miraba
Lo que no ven los ojos terrenales:
La ardiente geometría, el cristalino
Edificio de Dios y el remolino
Sórdido de los goces infernales.
Sabía que la Gloria y el Averno
En tu alma están y sus mitologías;
Sabía, como el griego, que los días
Del tiempo son espejos del Eterno.
En árido latín fue registrando
Últimas cosas sin por qué ni cuándo.

I translate:

Towering above others, walked
That man remote among men;
Having just called the angels
By their secret names. He saw
That which earthly eyes couldn’t:
The fiery geometry, the crystal
House of God and the sordid
Whirlwind of hellish thrills.
He knew that Glory, Hell and
Their myths are in your soul. Knew,
Like the Greek, that temporal
Days are eternity’s mirror.
In dry Latin, he registered
Last things free of why and when.




.

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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.