By J. David Simons
An eminent British author returns to the lodge lodge within the eastern mountains the place he as soon as spent a gorgeous, snowed-in wintry weather. It was once there he fell in love and wrote his best-selling novel, The Waterwheel, accusing the US of being in denial concerning the terrible aftermath of the Tokyo firebombings and the nuclear destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As we research extra approximately his previous lifestyles, although - as a pupil in Bloomsbury, concerned with a well-known American painter - we recognize that he too is in denial, attempting to break out earlier occasions which are now speedily catching up with him. A sweeping novel of East and West, love and battle, truths and denials.
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Extra resources for An Exquisite Sense of What Is Beautiful
As such, it is atheistic in all the wrong ways, whereas Marx and Nietzsche are atheistic in what are by and large the right kinds of ways. A society of packaged fulﬁllment, administered desire, managerialized politics, and consumerist economics is unlikely to cut to the kind of depth where theological questions can even be properly raised, just as it rules out political and moral questions of a certain profundity. What on earth would be the point of God in such a the scum of the earth 39 setup, other than as ideological legitimation, spiritual nostalgia, or a means of private extrication from a valueless world?
It is not an item in his political lexicon, and would sound merely embarrassing were it to turn up there. For the liberal tradition, what seems to many men and women to lie at the core of human existence has a peripheral place in the a√airs of the world, however vital a role it may play in the private life. The concept of political love, one imagines, would make little sense to Ditchkins. ∞∏ It is just that it is hard to see what this might mean in a civilization where love has been almost wholly reduced to the erotic, romantic, or domestic.
Here, then, is your pie in the sky or opium of the people, your soft-eyed consolation and pale-cheeked piety. Here is the fantasy and escapism that the hard-headed secularist pragmatist ﬁnds so distasteful. Freud saw religion as a mitigation of the harshness of the the scum of the earth 22 human condition; but it would surely be at least as plausible to claim that what we call reality is a mitigation of the Gospel’s ruthless demands, which include such agreeable acts of escapism as being ready to lay down your life for a total stranger.
An Exquisite Sense of What Is Beautiful by J. David Simons