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December 06, 2005



"In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo"

-Ah, memories of my college lit classes.

btw, just to get your goat: T.S. Eliot was a Christian (in the best sense of the word)

From Four Quartets:

The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre—
To be redeemed from fire by fire.


one more from Eliot:

The real issue, he concluded, "is between the secularists and the antisecularists, between those who believe only in values realizable in time and on earth, and those who believe also in values realized only out of time. . . . The danger, for those who start from the temporal end, is Utopianism; settle the problem of distribution -- of wheat, coffee, aspirin or wireless sets -- and all the problems of evil will disappear. The danger, for those who start from the spiritual end, is Indifferentism; neglect the affairs of the world and save as many souls out of the wreckage as possible."

as quoted by Phillip Yancey in


Hi Urbano — I don’t know that Eliot was always a Christian “in the best sense of the word”. Didn’t he also say that “reasons of race and religion combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable”?

But that quotation on secularists and "antisecularists" is right on the money I must say.

However, it doesn't alter my view (which I'm sure will come as no surprise). After all, if you compare the "dangers" of the two, isn't it better to be a utopianist than an "indifferentist"?


"However, it doesn't alter my view (which I'm sure will come as no surprise). After all, if you compare the "dangers" of the two, isn't it better to be a utopianist than an "indifferentist"?"

I must agree -with a caveat: remember PolPot was a "utopianist." (and Jim Jones was an indefferentist.)

Don't worry -am not a proselytizer in anyway. Just doing some friendly goading - since a number of christian apologists are coming into the media spotlight. (and I don't mean the wingnuts - I mean C.S. Lewis and Graham Greene).

Happy Holidays!


I know, we are all part of the bloggers' union after all. Now you put it like that, I wonder whether I agree with my previous comment. After all, it is the guys who really have a "plan" (Pol Pot, as you said, but also Mao and Hitler who cause the real damage. Anyway -- have a very Merry Christmas!


The path to hell is laid with intentions, good or evil.

Anyway, I was staying at a holiday house in country Victoria (Australia) years and discovered in the house's record collection the 1st recording of Dylan Thomas's Under Milkwood with Thomas as the narrator. BBC production I think. My family (wife and in-laws) thought I was crazy, but I had to listen to it all the way through.

I think the BBC has an archive of that sort of stuff for downloading. Joyce reading Anna Livia Plurabelle etc...

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Angelia Merkel

Prufrockian! Nice one. Must use that soon. I have to agree that hearing the poem read out loud makes a HUGE difference. For many, struggling through might be a chore especially with all Eliot’s smarty-pants references to classic works of literature, and, read from a certain angle, the poem is pretty dark. But, one has to agree that this is also one of the funniest works of our time. If he had wanted to, Eliot could have written a really depressing poem considering the time he was writing. Prufrock was published during World War I but instead of reflecting the sobre mood, Eliot wrote a hilariously pointed attack on all the well-dressed, upstanding citizens who loved their material pleasures – their tea and marmalade – more than they loved other people. Most of all, reading Prufrock is a warning to all procrastinators: if you put something off once, you’ll likely put it off forever. If you would like some more opinions on Eliot and (http://www.shmoop.com/intro/poetry/t-s-eliot/the-love-song-of-j-alfred-prufrock.html) The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, you should visit Shmoop as well.

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One song can spark a moment. That sure is a beautiful song.

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