February 26, 2009

Passage from The Winter's Tale

With relation to the use of medications, Solomon describes in the The Noonday Demon the current, ongoing debate about the natural or authentic self. He says this is not new, but an age-old debate:

In Shakespeare's late play The Winter's Tale, Perdita and Polixenes debate the limits of the real and the artificial—the authentic and the created—in a garden. Perdita questions the grafting of plants as "an art which … shares / With great creating Nature." Polixenes replies:

Yet Nature is made better by no mean
But Nature makes that mean. So, over that art
Which you say adds to Nature, is an art
That Nature makes. you see, sweet maid, we marry
A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
And make conceive a bark of baser kind
By bud of nobler race: this is an art
Which does mend Nature—change it rather, but
The art itself is nature.

—from Act IV, Scene III of "The Winter's Tale" by William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

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is author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, which won the National Book Award in 2001.

is an educator, activist, and author of Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.

is a poet and psychologist, and translator of Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God