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36 With Stevenson the first stage of self-assertion is clear enough: a vigorous denial by him of the authority of his precursors; but the 36 R. L. S. and the Appearance of Modernism second stage does not fully ignite and so the new challenger can not wholly escape the gravitational pull of the fathers: 'what divides each poet from his Poetic Father (and so saves, by division)', says Bloom, 'is an instance of creative revisionism'. 37 The revisionism, the dividing_ would seem, in Stevenson's case, not to have been complete enough so that the ephebe, as Bloom, following Stevens, designates the young artist about to achieve full-blown artistic self-realisation, is going to be prevented from reaching his full development.

Indeed, it is part of Irving Howe's felicitous definition of Modernism: The modem world has lost the belief in a collective destiny. Hence, the hero finds it hard to be certain that he can possess - or that anyone possesses - the kind of powers that might transform human existence. Men no longer feel themselves bound in a sacred or even, often enough, a temporal kinship. Hence, the hero finds it hard to believe in himself as a chosen figure acting on behalf of a divine commandment or national will.

Could one get out of sight of land- all in the blue. Alas not, being anchored here in the flesh and the bonds of logic being still about us. Son of the Muse then, perhaps, but a son who seeks to become his own Originator, taking the Muse, whose death would be his death, to wife: A Crisis of Paternity 37 I sleep upon my art for a pillow; I waken in my art. I am unready for death, because I hate to leave it. I love my wife, I do not know how much, nor can, nor shall, unless I lost her, but while I can conceive myself being widowed, I refuse the offering of life without my art.

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