Frye on Frazer. Frye situates art between magic (work) and religion (belief).

A ritual, in magic, is done for practical purposes, to make the crops grow, to baffle enemies, to bring rain or sunshine or children. In religion, a ritual expresses certain beliefs and hopes and theories about supernatural beings. The practical results of magic don’t work out; religious beliefs disappear or change in the twilight of the gods. But when deprived of both faith and works, the ritual becomes what it really is, something made by the imagination, and a potential work of art.

Reminds one of Vico. From Northrop Frye on Sir James Frazer (a CBC talk in the series Architects of Modern Thought). The situation of ritual “between” magic and religion is to be questioned. The between situation is suggested because magic and religion are figured to fall away from ritual (“when deprived of both”) by an act that is almost like the shedding of husks. And what is left is the seed, for the quotation continues: “As that, it can grow into drama or romance or fiction or symbolic poetry.” And of course against this invocation of the organic may be opposed the machinic and the assembled. Just as one may distinguish the ritual from the ceremony.

And so for day 826

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