2) Mr. Wright was a total d-bag
After reading a few of Simon Winchester's books, it struck me (as i am sure was the intention) that many of the greatest innovations were achievements of people who lacked formal education (Winchester has written two books about the Oxford English Dictionary, The Professor and the Madman, and The Meaning of Everything). James Murray, the son of a Scottish draper was an autodidact who taught himself numerous languages, archaeology, and who was making accurate astronomical predictions before the age of 12, was the primary editor of the OED. In The Map That Changed the World, Winchester tells the shocking story of William Smith, the canal digger who despite bitter class-wars, became the father of modern geology.
Leonardo da Vinci, whose bastard-status prevented him from receiving classical education (which was probably an advantage because it forced him to observe the world rather than be bound to the Greek mindset of conceiving the world according to models) also comes to mind. John Harrison, a carpenter who taught himself clock-making, invented the marine chronometer,(which established longitude), revolutionising navigation in the 18th century. All of these people, including Wright, were laypeople. All of these people worked with their hands.
The ordinary man falls in love, or reads Spinoza, and these two experiences have nothing to do with each other, or with the noise of the typewriter or the smell of cooking; in the mind of the poet these experiences are always forming new wholes.
Like Donne, Wright viewed his craft as a spiritual process, involving the cooperation of the natural with the supernatural. Donne often discusses the rectification of reason, the transformation or elevation of one's natural reason to a higher plane, contingent upon belief in God. In other words, belief in God is basically super-sizing your reason.
Conversely, Wright viewed nature as being rectified by humanity, or what he called organic architecture; 'a reinterpretation of nature’s principles as they had been filtered through the intelligent minds of men and women who could then build forms which are more natural than nature itself'.
The debate about morality's place in art, or as Benjamin Constant called it, l'art pour l'art (art for art's sake) has been discussed by people such as Baudelaire, Flaubert, Mallarme, Wilde, Ruskin, Whistler, and loads of others. I've rattled them off like they're distant family members, but i've only read them superficially--click here for a more in-depth synopses. A few weeks ago, i attended a conference on early modern English thought, and was blown away by a paper about the impact of Paradise Lost on Kant's moral philosophy. It restored my faith in what initially drew me to literature, and though we (perhaps anachronistically) may disagree with much of what 17th century religious writers have to say, there is little doubt in my mind that they genuinely sought a moral life. As for Wright, i don't want to justify him. And only trite things come to mind about how someone with such a nice philosophy could be a total d-nozzle. Like the greater the person the greater temptations, so i suppose he just gave in to his. But that doesn't quite cut it. Thoughts, anyone? Bueller?