at THE EMBODIMENT CONFERENCE 2020 ONLINE SEE https://portal.theembodimentconference.org/
Forthcoming: my second book of poetry published by THE ORCHARD STREET PRESS, FALL 2020, entitled The Body Is a Dancing Star
Available on Amazon, SUNY Press, Barnes and Noble:
Merleau-Ponty and the Face of the World:
Silence, Ethics, Imagination and Poetic Ontology
Abbreviations for Works by Merleau-Ponty
Preface: From Silence to Depth
Introduction: Merleau-Ponty’s Warning of an “Endless Nightmare”
Part One: Entering the World of Expressive Silence
I. Hearkening to Silence: Merleau-Ponty beyond Postmodernism
II. Language as a Power for Error and Violence
III. A Different Silence and the World’s Gesture
IV. Silence, the Depth of the Flesh, and its Movement
V. Silence Sings as We Do When Happy: Charged Evanescence
VI. Language Can Only Live from its Roots in Silence
VII. Indirect Expression as Silence Entering Language
VIII. Silence, Duration, and Vertical Time
IX. Silence Arrives at the First Day
Part Two: Faces of the World, Desiring Sensibility and Ethics
I. Physiognomic Sense and Faces within the World
II. The Desire in Perceiving
III. Merleau-Ponty’s Face of the World and Levinas’s Face of the
IV. Perceptual Otherness, not Absolute Otherness
V. An Ethics of Flesh: Saint-Exupéry, Merleau-Ponty, and Felt Solidarity
VI. Lateral Unity versus Vertical Identity: Kinship versus Substitution
VII. Ethical Alterity of Depth Rather than Absolute Height
Part Three: The Imaginal, Oneiric Materiality, and Poetic Language
I. Early Implied Physiognomic Imagination
II. Sketches of the Imaginal in Myth, Film, and Children
III. Imaginal of Institution, Sensible Ideas, and Proustian Sensitivity.
IV. Later Writings: toward an Imaginal Ontology
V. Bachelard’s Material Imagination and Flesh of the World
VI. Toward a Poetic Ontology
VII. A Poetics of Philosophy
Conclusion: Sense and Solidarity at the Depths of World
My first book of poetry: The River Bends in Time (Anaphora Literary Press.) The poems follows the flow of time and the river as it unwinds in a small town in Pennsylvania along the banks of the Susquehanna. The narrator experiences those quiet moments of joy when ducks come from the sky to skim the water’s edge or in the height of a Nor’easter as he walks through the forest filling with snow, but also the sadness of a neighbor’s dying or love breaking apart. The river flows, always bending and changing, like discovering the love of a mate that one joins with, becoming partners who run together under flying snow geese or dig a pond behind a two hundred year old house. Yet, the postmodern world seems lost without a past. A bout with colon cancer brings a renewed sense of the preciousness of each day and how the culture is wrong in its headlong race towards the future. The book ends with moments that resonate with the past in a state of continual affirming discovery. Soon available at Anaphora website or Amazon.com (by mid-March, 2012)
Response to THE RIVER BENDS IN TIME:
“For decades, Glen Mazis has been a reliable literary witness, perfecting these remarkable poems as evidence of his exquisite and graceful observations. A poem has to be capable of anything, "a religion without hope," said Cocteau, and the beautiful accidents of poetry occur from searching in the dark, always alone, where we are not perceived but received, so that the final musical structures and equations are invisible and seamless, soaking down into the darkness of its reader, unimpeded by analysis. Even now, these remarkable poems are nosing around in the ether, looking for the readers they were meant to inhabit. Poetry is the last passable wilderness for language, because just as we poets are an immense minority, we are also invisible to the giants of industry, who believe the mountain is the only master, and that all action flows around it. Mazis shows us the invisible markers of our daily pilgrimage, in a language wise and sonorous at once. He has spent the time to become a valued ‘priest of the invisible,’ and is still at his post, his clarion call is still resounding and it is ageless. No matter that all the cultural markers continue to undergo their tremendous seismic shifts, the poetry of The River Bends In Time will continue to widen in influence, continue to flow and be fiercely alive. This poetry is essential and will continue to come to the party, however unexpected, sometimes in disguise.”
---Keith Flynn [founding and managing editor of THE ASHEVILLE POETRY REVIEW, author of The Golden Ratio, The Lost Sea, The Book of Monsters and other books of poetry and criticism]
"In Frost-like fashion, Mazis portrays the contemporary philosopher-poet questing for insight and connection that staves off our common loneliness, pain and fear, while ever ready to clasp life’s simplicity and joy."
—Ann Frank Wake, Editor of River Oak Review, Elmhurst College
"Glen Mazis's poems are deeply attentive to the world and to its humans. His poems are filled with 'electrical veins', though not the same kind that appear in his moving elegy for a friend and neighbor." -- Thomas Lux
Thomas Lux’s books of poetry include God Particles: Poems (Houghton Mifflin, 2008); The Cradle Place (2004); The Street of Clocks (2001); New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995 (1997), which was a finalist for the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The Blind Swimmer: Selected Early Poems, 1970-1975 (1996); Split Horizon (1994), for which he received the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Pecked to Death by Swans (1993); A Boat in the Forest (1992); The Drowned River: New Poems (1990); Half Promised Land (1986); Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy (1983); Massachusetts (1981); Like a Wide Anvil from the Moon the Light (1980); Sunday (1979); Madrigal on the Way Home (1977); The Glassblower's Breath (1976); Memory's Handgrenade (1972); and The Land Sighted (1970).
a sample poem from the book:
On this Path of Transubstantiation
Lope, lope, I move through the skies
with each runner's footfall
unable to translate
for my sedentary friends
how earth becomes sky,
but flying isn't about altitude
the moment when warm muscles
melt the frost accumulated over night
on the mind's windshield,
so kids skipping down the street,
dogs looking for the right place to pee,
the truck lumbering through the gears
like a rhinoceros lifting out of the mud
can be seen for themselves
gathering into themselves
intricate, irreplaceable dance steps
in an incantatory daily ritual
that makes the divinities of the sky
the pedestrians of the earth
then having turned it all up and back
these steps have broken
the earth's gravity.
my recent books:
Merleau-Ponty and the Face of the World: Silence, Ethics, Imagination and Poetic Ontology (SUNY Press, 2016)
This work explores both the overall philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty as well as a particular line of thought in his work, which has not been appreciated by readers, scholars and critics up to this point. The theme of how the world speaks to us in silence leading to a consideration of an ethics of felt solidarity among persons, the heart of language and understanding being poetic, and the transformation of philosophy into a poetic ontology is clearly communicated. The work brings out ties to Bachelard and Saint-Exupéry not previously appreciated, a telling contrast to Levinas, brings forth both a new sense of ethics and the first developed appreciation of an ethics in Merleau-Ponty’s work, as well as seeing exploring Merleau-Ponty’s ties to Proust, Claudel and other literary figures that led him to assert poetic use of language is necessary for any philosophy that claims to truly fathom human embodiment.
The River Bends in Time (Anaphora Literary Press, 2012) -- poetry
This book probes the blurring of boundaries among humans, animals and machines. It explores how this blurring has become intensified in ways both destructive for humans, animals and the environment, and also offering fruitful possibilities for these three realms to work together. The book is unique in looking at the comparison of all three realms together, instead of just comparing two of them, as most studies do. Also, the book is unusual in being so interdisciplinary, drawing upon philosophy, artificial intelligence studies, physics, animal research, writings about autism, literature, aesthetics, technology research, poetry, attachment theory, and psychology. The approach is largely phenomenological, concerned with fidelity to most people’s experience. Other phenomenological approaches to the questions asked, such as Heidegger’s work on animals, are examined. Throughout, Merleau-Ponty’s approach to embodiment is used to articulate the relationships among humans, animals and machines in new ways. The intention of this work is to go beyond the shrill warnings about the dangers of ecological damage or the pitfalls of technical enhancement of humans or of the increasing power of various technologies, to reconsider how given that each realm does overlap with the other two, there must be ways that humans, animals and machines can work together for mutual thriving. The book dares to give new definitions of humans, animals and machines given their historical development and reconsiderations of their relationships. The book is not content to deal with philosophical concepts or abstractions, but works with contemporary examples of animal behavior, technological advances, robot experiments, or the life-transforming experience of someone with a cochlear implant. Readers will find a concrete path into these thickets of questions facing postmodern culture and be challenged by its conclusion that we need a new ethical response to animals and machines as “persons.” The book ends with a call for an ecospirituality.
Emotion and Embodiment: Fragile Ontology (Peter Lang, 1994) is a phenomenological exploration of the differing ways we know the world through the emotions, and how both the world and we as knowers are different by knowing the world within the emotional life. It draws upon a lot of literary examples, as well as works of philosophy and psychology. It extends the work of Merleau-Ponty on the embodied, percetual basis of emotional apprehension and expression. This book has been cited by ALTER: The Review of Phenomenology in France in their 1999 issue devoted to the phenomenology of the emotions as one of the four most landmark works on the phenomenology of the emotions.
Earthbodies: Rediscovering Our Planetary Senses(SUNY, 2002) details a sense of embodiment that entails different notions of time, perception, and the relationships to the natural world, to animals, to cyberspace, and to space itself. It is also a critique of American culture and its disconnectedness, and examines the fascination with vampires, ghouls, aesthetes, and the Internet. It is a book intended to help us move from a sea of sentimentality and violence towards an existence of commitment and the graceful affirmation of the natural world, other people, differing cultures, and each person's unique rootedness in a history and place.
More Popular Book:
The Trickster, Magician, and Grieving Man: Reconnecting Men with Earth is a critique of the Men's Movement mentality of Robert Bly and draws parallels between Bly's metaphors and mindset and Bush's in conducting the Gulf War. It critique's "tank embodiment," "high altitude living," "missile sexuality" and language use as "the briefing." The second half of the book suggests ways in which the traditional male gender roles could benefit from contact with ways of other cultures, like the Native American traditions of trickster, with taking differing stances towards emotions and especially grieving of losses, finding creative ways of dealing with death, old Hindu myths of being "food" for all and hence learning to cook for others, relations with the slower time of nature ... etc. (Inner Traditions, 1994)
some more recently published essays:
“Psyche and Nature: Tower and Lake, Yin and Yang, Archetype and Earth,” invited essay, Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture [Jungian Studies], Fall, 2006, pp. 1-22.
“Ecospirituality and the Blurred Boundaries of Humans, Animals and Machines,” in Ecospirit: Religions and Philosophies for the Earth, ed by Laurel Kearns and Catherine Keller (New York: Fordham University Press, 2007), pp. 125-155 & 564-566.
“Our Embodied Friendships with Dogs,” in What Philosophy Can Teach You about Your Dog, ed. Stephen Hales, (Chicago: Open Court, fall, 2008), pp. 115-134.
“Cyborg Life: The In-between of Humans and Machines,” ed. Astrida Neimanis and David Koukal, PhaenEx: Journal for Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture, Vol. III, no. 2 (Fall, 2008), pp. 14-36.
“The World of Wolves: Lessons about the Sacredness of the Surround, Belonging, the Silent Dialogue of Interdependence and Death, and Speciocide,” special ed. Jame Hatley, Environmental Philosophy, Volume V, issue 2, Fall, 2008, pp. 69-92.
“The Archetypal Alchemy of Technology: Escaping and Returning to Materiality’s Depth,” Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture [Jungian Studies], Vol. 80 (Winter, 2009: “Archetype and Technology”), pp. 1-35.
“Touring as Authentically Embodying Place and Glancing a New World,” The Journal of Environment, Space, and Place, vol., #1, pp. 169-188, June, 2009
“Flesh of the World Is Emptiness and Emptiness is the Flesh of the World, and Their Ethical Implications,” in Merleau-Ponty and Buddhism, ed. by Jin Y. Park & Gereon Kopf,(Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, September, 2009), pp. 183-208
“Time at the Depth of the World,” in Merleau-Ponty at the Limits of Art, Religion, and Perception, ed. by Kascha Semonovitch and Neal DeRoo, Continuum, pp. 120-146, July, 2010.
"Each Embodied Step is the Walk of Natural History,” Poligrafi: Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion, pp. 141-167, Winter 2011 Issue on “Natural History”
“Human Ethics as Violence towards Animals: The Demonized Wolf,” Spaziofilosofico, Vol. 3, pp. 291-304 [special Fall, 2011 issue on “Violence”].
“The Sky Starts at Our Feet: Anasazi Clues about Overcoming Mind/Body Dualism through the Unity of Earth/Sky,” The Journal of Environment, Space, Place, vol. 3, no. 2 (December, 2011), pp. 7-21.
“Merleau-Ponty’s Artist of Depth: Exploring “Eye and Mind” and the Works of Art Chosen by Merleau-Ponty as Preface,” PhaenEx: Journal for Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture. Vol. VII, no. 1 (July, 2012), pp. 244-274.
“Animals, before Me, with Whom I Live, by Whom I Am Addressed: Writing after Derrida,” in Divinanimality: Animal Theory, Creaturely Theology, ed. Stephen D. Moore, (New York: Fordham University Press, 2014), pp. 17-35.
“Hearkening to the night for the Heart of Depth, Space and Dwelling,” in Merleau-Ponty, Space, Place, Architecture, ed. Patricia Locke and Rachel McCann(Athens: Ohio University Press, 2015), 23-42.
“The Depths of Time in the World’s Memory of Self,” in Time, Memory, Institution: Merleau-Ponty’s New Ontology of Self, eds. David Morris, Kym Maclaren (Athens: Ohio U Press: 2015), 43-68.
Review Discussion Article on Silence et Langage by Stephen Noble, online at H-France Review: French Historical Society, vol. xv, no. 136 (October 2015), pp 1-5.
“Walking with Mountains, or What Shōbōgenzō and Dōgen Mean to Me,” in Engaging Dōgen’s Zen: The Philosophy of Practice as Awakening, eds. Jason M. Wirth, Brian Schroeder and Bret Davis (Somerville: Wisdom Press, January, 2017), pp. 53-68.
“Bachelard’s Poetic Ontology,” in Adventures in Phenomenology: Gaston Bachelard, edited by Eileen Rizo-Patron, Jason Wirth and Edward S. Casey, (Albany: SUNY Press, summer 2017), pp. 127-142.
“Mountaintop Removal Mining Wounds the Flesh of the World,” The Other Journal: Intersection of Theology and Culture, issue editor, Zac Settle, https://theotherjournal.com/2017/08/24/mountaintop-removal-mining-wounds-flesh-world, volume 28 (October, 2017), 9 pp.
“The Artist’s Gestures of Fascination in Merleau-Ponty’s ‘Eye and Mind’: Merleau-Ponty and Virginia Woolf,” and also “Depth” in Understanding Merleau-Ponty: Understanding Modernism, ed. Prof. Ariane Mildenberg, (London: Bloomsbury Press, Dec. 2018), pp. 73-85, 305-6.
“Grounding Emotion in the Natural World,” in Sensorial Trajectories, ed. By John Murungi and Linda Ardito (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018), pp. 91-120.
“Merleau-Ponty’s and Paul Claudel’s Overlapping Expression of Poetic Ontology,” in press with Chiasmi: The Trilingual International Journal of Merleau-Ponty Studies, vol. 21, pp. 167-185.