The Wounded Researcher: Dr. Romanyshyn on the Poetics of Research


As I embark on a continual journey of research towards the realization of my first book, I find Robert D. Romanyshyn's book both consoling and illuminating. That is, in a sidereal, night-time fashion of the soul. Here is Dr. Romanyshyn's definition of re-search with soul in mind:

" is the Orphic voice that guides re-search with soul in mind, that the fantasy and myth behind re-search with soul in mind are the archetypal figures of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus is, among other things, the poet of the gap, the poet of the border realms. He is, for Rilke, the one who comes and goes and the one to whom no monument should be raised, the one, in fact, for whom the only fitting tribute is the rose, which in its blooming is already beginning to fade. Orpheus is also, by his birthright, the poet of memory and mourning, the one who holds these two actions together, the one who teaches us that remembering is an act of mourning and that mourning is a creative work of re-membering..."

Then Romanyshyn continues, extolling on research as a poetic act:

"...A poetics of research, as opposed to an empirics of research, seeks to offer a plausible insight into the work by staying near it, by inhabiting the work as one might take up dwelling in a house, not, however, as a fixed or permanent resident, but as a sojourner, that is, as one who comes and goes, one who knows, then, that the 'homes' we build for soul from our ideas are temporary shelters, which, although only for a moment, are, for the moment, enough. A poetics of research invites the researcher to become the work through the powers of reverie and imagination and then let go of it."

If this attunes to your literary senses, read also on Flannery O'Connor's "vision a fiction writer needs to have."