Intruding Upon the Timeless blurb, page 86-88

Another blurb from Gregory Wolfe’s collection of essays:  

    “Like the biblical prophet, the artist is often an outsider, one who stands apart and delivers a challenge to the community. The prophets of old employed many of the same tricks used by writers and artists: lofty rhetoric, apocalyptic imagery, biting satire, lyrical evocations of better times, and subversive irony.”

    “To speak of the artist as a prophet is to confer praise. But it is important to remember that even in biblical times the prophet was not completely independent of the community. Prophets might have been more free to speak their minds than the average members of society, but they were not autonomous.”

    “The prophet and the artist may seek to disturb the existing order of things, but they should do so in the name of a deeper order, not in the name of their own genius. The artist will serve the community best not by worrying about either his own autonomy or the community’s immediate concerns but by remaining open to the transcendent sources of order. By keeping an eye fixed on the distances, the artist will do justice to both art and community.”


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

2 Responses to Intruding Upon the Timeless blurb, page 86-88

  1. Pingback: Artist (writer) as prophet « Word Lily

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