Posted by: glue | June 14, 2008

Guiding Image (Egency)

The dimension of identity addressed and augmented in electracy has been understood traditionally as “disposition.” The Greeks called it “virtue,” to distinguish it from art: it is that part of character that one has by nature, and that is not educable (but may be trained by habit). Just how disposition manifests itself (showing its accessibility to an image metaphysics), may be seen in cases reported of people making life decisions based on a guiding image.

Freewheelin\' Bob Dylan

“When the teen-age Steve Earle left San Antonio, Texas, where he was raised, for Greenwich Village, in 1974, he had an image in his mind: the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, showing Dylan and his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, strolling through the West Village on a snowy day. That was where Earle wanted to be. He made it as far as Nashville. There he became a protege of Townes Van Zandt, and developed his talents as a songwriter, a country singer, and a hard-strumming guitarist. . . . But through triumphs and disasters, six marriages, and assorted tattoos, that image of the Village in the jingle-jangle morning of the folk movement never left Earle’s mind. Finally, in 2005, Earle got his own place in the West Village. He and his wife, the singer-songwriter Allison Moorer, moved into a garden apaqrtment on the same block depicted in the Freewheelin’ photograph.” (John Seabrook, The New Yorker, June 11 & 18, 2007: 49).


  1. Guiding Image 2

    “All through my childhood in Ireland, I had a dream that came with an image: the New York skyline. Someday I’d sail for that fabled city with its howling traffic, elegant skyscrapers, throbbing streets. But what happens when a dream comes true? . . . I slogged through dead-end jobs. I had low expectations and thought I’d be satisfied with a white-collar job. No. That wasn’t enough, and the small voice in my confused head siad, ‘Don’t settle for less. Find what you love and do it.'”
    Frank McCourt (author of Angela’s Ashes), in Parade, March 9, 2008: 12.

    That “small voice” is a relative of Socrates’s daimonion.

  2. […] 1963 and Columbia, Missouri, 2008) and Googledentity and Greg Ulmer’s recent post on the guiding image got me thinking about mnemonic images. Well, I’m always thinking about mnemonic images, but […]

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