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Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 1 October, 2019 06:29PM
Knygatin, I suppose the attraction of decay depends on what's decayed, etc. There's The Pleasure of Ruins -- to name a book by Rose Macaulay that I must get hold of -- and there's the disgust and pity we feel at the sight of roadkill. But both are examples of decay. A mouthful of carious teeth shows decay, but who likes that sight? But many people would rather than streaks on weathered urban stone were not power-washed off to restore a uniform surface.

It's an interesting topic.

Dale N.

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 1 October, 2019 06:41PM
Knygatin Wrote:

[Much snipped...]

>
> Sawfish, always good to read you comments. Your
> idea of aesthetic decadence seem somewhat close to
> mine. A visual perspective rather than addressing
> only social moral decay.
> How would you define the tone and voice of
> Lovecraft? Neutral? Socially correct and mannerly?

Hmmm... I'll have ti think...

[burning smell... ;^) ]

Let's see...

To me, in decadence there is a very strong flavor of sensuousness--a luxuriating in the senses at the expense of profundity of thought or moral compass.

To my sensibilities, Lovecraft is one of the least sensuous of writers. His attraction (for me) his central concept of multiple unrecorded cycles of life on Earth, and the degree to which their existence creates something like "racial memory" as expressed in various human religious cults, and also actual genetic connection, as per the Marshes of Innsmouth.

It's hard to put into words, but there seems not a trace of decadence in any of this.

Your views?

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 1 October, 2019 06:52PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Knygatin, I suppose the attraction of decay
> depends on what's decayed, etc. There's The
> Pleasure of Ruins -- to name a book by Rose
> Macaulay that I must get hold of -- and there's
> the disgust and pity we feel at the sight of
> roadkill. But both are examples of decay. A
> mouthful of carious teeth shows decay, but who
> likes that sight? But many people would rather
> than streaks on weathered urban stone were not
> power-washed off to restore a uniform surface.
>
> It's an interesting topic.
>
> Dale N.

Very interesting exploration of this topic!

OK, to a large degree, much of aesthetic decadence is accompanied by a certain glamour--one that has the appeal of being forbidden by convention.

So this eliminates roadkill, huh? ;^)

But does it eliminate liches and the like? Not sure that it does, entirely. It could be that mummies, representing a certain glamour, differ from common worm-grubbing zombies.

So might we consider the Nazgul decadent, or not? It's hard, because the Lord of the Rings trilogy does not to me seem decadent, although some discrete decadent elements might exist.

Your thoughts?

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 1 October, 2019 09:13PM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To my sensibilities, Lovecraft is one of the least
> sensuous of writers.
>
> It's hard to put into words, but there seems not a
> trace of decadence in any of this.
>
> Your views?

I don't know ... My mind is blank here. ;)
Really, I don't have enough of a literary poetic sensitivity, or ear, to be able to distinguish tone and voice from the actual story ingredients. I see much of aesthetically delicious decay, and antiquarianism, in Lovecraft's stories. And I find his portraits, of for example Cthulhu, very sensuous. Or of grandmother Marsh living under the sea; who really wouldn't like to surrender, draw his lungs full of water, and completely embrace her?


Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> the Lord of the Rings trilogy
> does not to me seem decadent, although some
> discrete decadent elements might exist.

That the elves are leaving Middle Earth, is to me as clear a sign of spreading decadence as could possibly be.

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 2 October, 2019 06:44AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sawfish Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > the Lord of the Rings trilogy
> > does not to me seem decadent, although some
> > discrete decadent elements might exist.
>
> That the elves are leaving Middle Earth, is to me
> as clear a sign of spreading decadence as could
> possibly be.


As a writer I think J. R. R. Tolkien is the complete opposite of decadent. He stands opposed to everything decadent (aside from pipe smoking), celebrating the pure and wholesome. But he is also able to effectively warn us of greed and decadence, by portraying it.

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Oldjoe (IP Logged)
Date: 2 October, 2019 07:54AM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> And, to take things farther,
> Machen is an affirmer of the reality of (shall we,
> nondenominationally, say) mystical Glory. He is a
> yea-sayer. Smith, from what I know of him, seems
> to have been a nay-sayer, like Lovecraft, a
> futilitarian, self-limited. And this seems to
> come across in their writings.

This is very thought-provoking. The contrast between the personal philosophies of Machen and CAS is quite intriguing. The "yea-sayer" vs. "nay-sayer" dichotomy is simplistic, but not without some truth. I know CAS' work much better than I know Machen's work, and to some degree I want to rise to CAS' defense, but I can't really muster contrary evidence at the moment (and perhaps cannot do so at all!)

This is a very insightful discussion thread - thanks to all that have contributed so far!

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 2 October, 2019 10:10AM
Oldjoe, if one sticks to narrowly literary concerns, the yea-sayer vs. nay-sayer dichotomy need not imply that an author, or the works of an author, of the first type are superior to those of the second. So perhaps Smith doesn't need defending on this particular score. Here's something I posted many months ago at the SF Chronicles Forums site:

As far as I have found it was in its Dec. 1974 issue that Esquire asked two noted authors their response to a big question, whose formulation I don’t remember, regarding (let’s say) “life.” However it was put, Eugene Ionesco said “No,” and Isaac Bashevis Singer said “yes.” (One of my professors passed around the Singer article in an American literature course I was taking.)

Anyway, it might be interesting to list authors whose works suggest that they are primarily yea-sayers or nay-sayers, and to discuss things that come up accordingly. (It will be seen that these temperaments, if that’s the word, may both be found among the religious, the irreligious, and the anti-religious.)

A nay-sayer writes works that might be “depressing” or might not be, but that suggest a final absence, or withholding, of grace or goodness from the order of things. A nay-sayer may “enjoy life” but you get the sense that he or she thinks it might have been better if nothing had come to be. A nay-sayer’s implied narrator might affect a stance of detachment, and a nay-sayer is likely to write works pervaded by irony. A nay-sayer might, as a rule, convey scorn or disdain for human beings, or might convey pity or compassion for them. A yea-sayer may suspect that nay-sayers often haven’t really earned their angst.

Works by a yea-sayer gravitate towards affirmation of things even if passion, crime, foolishness, etc. are in the foreground. A yea-sayer may have been disillusioned at some point, but if so, has passed through the experience to affirmation. A yea-sayer’s works probably suggest that the order of things justifies love. A nay-sayer may feel that the yea-sayer “doesn’t get it.”

In short: some authors suggest that the answer is No, other that it is Yes.


Yea-Sayers

Asimov

Ray Bradbury

Chesterton

Arthur C. Clarke

Dante

Dickens

Dostoevsky

Ursula Le Guin

Simak

Tolkien

Colin Wilson

Wordsworth


Nay-Sayers

Borges

Joseph Conrad

Dunsany

Harlan Ellison

Hardy

Robert E. Howard

Stephen King

David Lindsay

Lovecraft

Melville

V. S. Naipaul

Clark Ashton Smith

Swift

Evelyn Waugh



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2 Oct 19 | 10:26AM by Dale Nelson.

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 2 October, 2019 10:41AM
Here is a passage from Machen that shows him to be a yea-sayer. It's from his preface to the Knopf book The House of Souls. Machen writes about walking with a friend in an undistinguished part of the London metro area:

…….he who adventures in London has a foretaste of infinity. There is
a region beyond Ultima Thule. I know not how it was, but on this famous
Sunday afternoon, my friend and I, passing through Canonbury came into
something called the Balls Pond Road--Mr. Perch, the messenger of Dombey
& Son, lived somewhere in this region--and so I think by Dalston down
into Hackney where caravans, or trams, or, as I think you say in
America, trolley cars set out at stated intervals to the limits of the
western world._

_But in the course of that walk which had become an exploration of the
unknown, I had seen two common things which had made a profound
impression upon me. One of these things was a street, the other a small
family party. The street was somewhere in that vague, uncharted, Balls
Pond-Dalston region. It was a long street and a grey street. Each house
was exactly like every other house. Each house had a basement, the sort
of story which house-agents have grown to call of late a "lower ground
floor." The front windows of these basements were half above the patch
of black, soot-smeared soil and coarse grass that named itself a garden,
and so, passing along at the hour of four o'clock or four-thirty, I
could see that in everyone of these "breakfast rooms"--their technical
name--the tea tray and the tea cups were set out in readiness. I
received from this trivial and natural circumstance an impression of a
dull life, laid out in dreadful lines of patterned uniformity, of a life
without adventure of body or soul._

_Then, the family party. It got into the tram down Hackney way. There
were father, mother and baby; and I should think that they came from a
small shop, probably from a small draper's shop. The parents were young
people of twenty-five to thirty-five. He wore a black shiny frock
coat--an "Albert" in America?--a high hat, little side whiskers and dark
moustache and a look of amiable vacuity. His wife was oddly bedizened in
black satin, with a wide spreading hat, not ill-looking, simply
unmeaning. I fancy that she had at times, not too often, "a temper of
her own." And the very small baby sat upon her knee. The party was
probably going forth to spend the Sunday evening with relations or
friends._

_And yet, I said to myself, these two have partaken together of the
great mystery, of the great sacrament of nature, of the source of all
that is magical in the wide world. But have they discerned the
mysteries? Do they know that they have been in that place which is
called Syon and Jerusalem?--I am quoting from an old book and a strange
book._


So far, the Machen reading. Machen has been wide awake to the drabness of the urban scene. He's noticed a young family that, it would be easy to assume, is completely predictable and commonplace, a man and a woman with their baby setting out of an evening of banal conversation. An adherent of decadence might secretly sneer at these "breeders" and their conventional world. Machen could have aligned himself with the nay-sayer, but rather he writes, in his message for American readers, as a yea-sayer.

The story of his own that Machen is thinking of is, of course, "A Fragment of Life."

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 2 October, 2019 11:07AM
Now: to proceed to Hieroglyphics:

page v. Machen refers to the monologuist not as the Recluse (the word I used earlier in this thread) but as the Hermit.

I've been reading a book that Machen thought well of, Sebastian Evans's 1898 translation of the medieval Perlesvaus, published as The High History of the Holy Graal. There are numerous hermits in the book. Unlike "recluse," the word "hermit" suggests someone who has withdrawn from society for the sake of religious contemplation and devotion and who is available to other people for hospitality and healing.

Let's keep that in mind as we read Hieroglyphics. Machen may have chosen his word with care.

The hermit is not primarily a recluse who has turned away from the world because he has been hurt and feels sorry for himself, though that might have been an element in the lives of some hermits. But his primary motivation is that he recognizes a vocation, a calling.

P. ix: The suggestion of a quasi-religious calling is reinforced when Machen refers to the Hermit as a "disciple in Coleridge's school" and refers to Coleridge as being the Hermit's "master."*

p. xi: Machen tells us that the Hermit earnestly desired the truth and sought it. He and the Hermit seemed to experience glimpses of the eternal (p. x). Surely this is not a put-on from Machen, even though this book has its playful, ironic moments. He means what he says. This book is a real challenge to the way we think now. One constantly gets the sense, now, that when people talk, they are really just performing. They are performing rituals of conformity to one or other of the standard-issue "identities" ("Identity" is such a common word now) available off the rack. Many young people, by the way, go to university to find an identity to pick off the rack. Earlier, the decadent dandies were consummate performers of a self-assumed identity. But the Hermit is up to something more serious -- even though he and his interlocutor have fun with him occasionally assuming the manner of Coleridge!

But the Hermit seeks "the truth," Machen says. The truth is out there; it's not a matter of "finding your own truth," it's not a matter of the "social construction of reality." The Hermit thinks and speaks from within a great tradition that our culture is disconnecting itself from at every turn.


*Incidentally, if anyone wants to look into two other "disciples" of Coleridge, I would refer him or her to the Scottish fantasist and preacher George MacDonald and to the philosopher Owen Barfield. But many readers will first want to enhance their sense of Coleridge himself. My prescription: read the great poems "Christabel," "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," and "Kubla Khan" (the last-named being kind of the seed of Lord Dusany's fantasy) plus the selection of letters edited by H. J. Jackson, or, at least, the sequence of five autobiographical letters to Tom Poole, 1797-1798.

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 2 October, 2019 11:14AM
Here are the Coleridge autobiographical letters that I mentioned:

[inamidst.com]

[inamidst.com]

[inamidst.com]

[inamidst.com]

[inamidst.com]

These are by no means a complete statement of the mature Coleridge's view of his life! He was still a young man when he wrote them. But they are full of charm and were written about the time he wrote the "Ancient Mariner."

STC's father was a pastor and schoolmaster, 1770s. From Coleridge's 4th autobiographical letter:

My Father (who had so little of parental ambition in him, that he had destined his children to be Blacksmiths &c, & had accomplished his intention but for my Mother's pride & spirit of aggrandizing her family) my father had however resolved, that I should be a Parson. I read every book that came in my way without distinction -- and my father was fond of me, & used to take me on his knee, and hold long conversations with me. I remember, that at eight years old I walked with him one winter evening from a farmer's house, a mile from Ottery ---- & he told me the names of the stars -- and how Jupiter was a thousand times larger than our world -- and that the other twinkling stars were Suns that had worlds rolling round them -- & when I came home, he shewed me how they rolled round -- / . I heard him with a profound delight & admiration; but without the least mixture of wonder or incredulity. For from my early reading of Faery Tales, & Genii &c &c -- my mind had been habituated to the Vast ---- & I never regarded my senses in any way as the criteria of my belief. I regulated all my creeds by my conceptions not by my sight -- even at that age. Should children be permitted to read Romances, & Relations of Giants & Magicians, & Genii? ---- I know all that has been said against it; but I have formed my faith in the affirmative. -- I know no other way of giving the mind a love of 'the Great', & 'the Whole'. -- Those who have been led to the same truths step by step thro' the constant testimony of their senses, seem to me to want a sense which I possess -- They contemplate nothing but parts -- and all parts are necessarily little -- and the Universe to them is but a mass of little things. -- It is true, that the mind may become credulous & prone to superstition by the former method -- but are not the Experimentalists credulous even to madness in believing any absurdity, rather than believe the grandest truths, if they have not the testimony of their own senses in their favor? -- I have known some who have been rationally educated, as it is styled. They were marked by a microscopic acuteness; but when they looked at great things, all became a blank & they saw nothing -- and denied (very illogically) that any thing could be seen; and uniformly put the negation of a power for the possession of a power -- & called the want of imagination Judgment, & the never being moved to Rapture Philosophy!

----I relish the juxtaposition of astronomy and fantastic tales in this passage as STC describes his youthful imaginative development. The bringing together of astronomy and the Arabian Nights reminds me of Lovecraft's boyhood (but I admit I rank STC higher than HPL).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2 Oct 19 | 11:17AM by Dale Nelson.

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 2 October, 2019 01:51PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Oldjoe, if one sticks to narrowly literary
> concerns, the yea-sayer vs. nay-sayer dichotomy
> need not imply that an author, or the works of an
> author, of the first type are superior to those of
> the second. So perhaps Smith doesn't need
> defending on this particular score. Here's
> something I posted many months ago at the SF
> Chronicles Forums site:
>
> As far as I have found it was in its Dec. 1974
> issue that Esquire asked two noted authors their
> response to a big question, whose formulation I
> don’t remember, regarding (let’s say)
> “life.” However it was put, Eugene Ionesco
> said “No,” and Isaac Bashevis Singer said
> “yes.” (One of my professors passed around the
> Singer article in an American literature course I
> was taking.)
>
> Anyway, it might be interesting to list authors
> whose works suggest that they are primarily
> yea-sayers or nay-sayers, and to discuss things
> that come up accordingly. (It will be seen that
> these temperaments, if that’s the word, may both
> be found among the religious, the irreligious, and
> the anti-religious.)
>
> A nay-sayer writes works that might be
> “depressing” or might not be, but that suggest
> a final absence, or withholding, of grace or
> goodness from the order of things. A nay-sayer may
> “enjoy life” but you get the sense that he or
> she thinks it might have been better if nothing
> had come to be. A nay-sayer’s implied narrator
> might affect a stance of detachment, and a
> nay-sayer is likely to write works pervaded by
> irony. A nay-sayer might, as a rule, convey scorn
> or disdain for human beings, or might convey pity
> or compassion for them. A yea-sayer may suspect
> that nay-sayers often haven’t really earned
> their angst.
>
> Works by a yea-sayer gravitate towards affirmation
> of things even if passion, crime, foolishness,
> etc. are in the foreground. A yea-sayer may have
> been disillusioned at some point, but if so, has
> passed through the experience to affirmation. A
> yea-sayer’s works probably suggest that the
> order of things justifies love. A nay-sayer may
> feel that the yea-sayer “doesn’t get it.”
>
> In short: some authors suggest that the answer is
> No, other that it is Yes.
>

[LIST SNIPPED]

This is *very* enjoyable and interesting, Dale!

I find that by this definition I'm personally of the "nay-sayer" frame of mind, and am attracted, for personal and aesthetic satisfaction, to the works of nay-sayers.

There are a couple of continental writers who come to mind immediately--authors I've read and enjoyed, but do not have a lot of currency: Celine and Fallada. These guys seem to be right in the center of those who might be nay-sayers.

Thanks very much for your contributions to this thread!

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 2 October, 2019 01:59PM
Again, a terrific addition to the discussion.

As a kid I was completely fascinated by The Rime of the Ancient Mariner; it was vivid, almost like a film, in my mind's eye. Better than any movies I was seeing.

His views as expressed here are intriguing and thought-provoking. I'm not sure that I completely agree with his materialists vs mystics dichotomy I think it exists, but in this passage he simplifies the sensibilities of the materialist, almost trivializing the viewpoint--and I say this s a self-admitted materialist--but the schism between the two certainly exists, in my opinion.

Thanks!

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 2 October, 2019 02:24PM
Sawfish, the passage from Coleridge's letter may be relevant to materialist-vs.-mystic, but it's more directly relevant to methods of education. Coleridge is saying that he knows there are those who think it's "dissipation" for children to read fairy tales, the Arabian Nights, etc. Those people would emphasize an education that focuses children's attention on Facts and the Useful. Dickens caricatures these educationists in Hard Times with the schoolmaster Gradgrind -- remember him, the teacher who makes the children memorize a definition of horse as a "gramnivorous quadruped," etc., with the implication that this is an adequate representation of the animal -- whereas a healthy child will know the horse as a noble, mighty servant of mankind, powerful but submissive and worthy of great respect, a very emblem of something essential about creation, etc. Gradgrind wants such fanciful rubbish stamped out. He is a stern utilitarian. Today we have a pervasive reductionism instead.

On education, you could not do better than to read C. S. Lewis's little book The Abolition of Man, which deals with just such things -- starting, in fact, with a criticism of the treatment, in a high school textbook, of something from Coleridge. The authors of the textbook took a passage where Coleridge observed two people looking at a great waterfall. One of them said it's pretty, the other said it's sublime, and Coleridge regretted the former and approved the latter. The textbook authors basically say, "Fooey--both statements were really the same thing, nothing but statements people made about how they felt." Lewis takes this treatment apart and, courteously, devastates the textbook writers....

As for materialism vs. mysticism -- the materialist is necessarily a reductionist. He has to say that everything is [u]nothing but[u] the inevitable product of physical forces that are mindless and meaningless. The materialist will, then, tend, if he or she is an an educator, towards the utilitarian notion that the bottom line for education's purpose is "equality" and the preservation, extension, and progression of health and comfort, since these are things over which we have some control. In fact, control is a key word; some people will be in charge of others. In Soviet Russia, the Party was in charge. In contemporary America, the university-educated network of "global citizens" with solid progressive credentials would be the ones who should be in charge, according to sentiment common among professional educators.

Hence, by the way, Lovecraft's late-in-life attraction to socialism (=the planned society). It was consistent with his materialism.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2 Oct 19 | 02:39PM by Dale Nelson.

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 2 October, 2019 02:55PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sawfish, the passage from Coleridge's letter may
> be relevant to materialist-vs.-mystic, but it's
> more directly relevant to methods of education.
> Coleridge is saying that he knows there are those
> who think it's "dissipation" for children to read
> fairy tales, the Arabian Nights, etc. Those
> people would emphasize an education that focuses
> children's attention on Facts and the Useful.
> Dickens caricatures these educationists in Hard
> Times with the schoolmaster Gradgrind -- remember
> him, the teacher who makes the children memorize a
> definition of horse as a "gramnivorous quadruped,"
> etc., with the implication that this is an
> adequate representation of the animal -- whereas a
> healthy child will know the horse as a noble,
> mighty servant of mankind, powerful but submissive
> and worthy of great respect, a very emblem of
> something essential about creation, etc.
> Gradgrind wants such fanciful rubbish stamped out.
> He is a stern utilitarian. Today we have a
> pervasive reductionism instead.
>
> On education, you could not do better than to read
> C. S. Lewis's little book The Abolition of Man,
> which deals with just such things -- starting, in
> fact, with a criticism of the treatment, in a high
> school textbook, of something from Coleridge.
> They take a passage where Coleridge observed two
> people looking at a great waterfall. One of them
> says it's pretty, the other says it's sublime, and
> Coleridge regrets the former and approves the
> latter. The textbook authors basically say,
> "Fooey--both statements were the same, nothing but
> statements people made about how they felt."
> Lewis takes this treatment apart and, courteously
> but devastatingly, devastates the textbook
> writers....

It's hard to say which comes first, however, the materialist who insists on educating children to standards that Coleridge finds constraining, in which the child is never exposed to mystical ideas, or the chid, a willing believer of almost anything presented authoritatively, who thru his lack of exposure to The Arabian Nights, e.g., later becomes a teacher and being ignorant of spirituality or mysticism, does not introduce his charges to these attributes.

It seems integral to Coleridge's ideas is the assumption that mere exposure makes one sensitive to the mystical, and conversely, lack of exposure excises or stultifies attachment to mysticism. But I don't see it as that simple. I think that an individual, exposed to fantastic literature and ideas, with no criticism from authority figure for reading and enjoying many of the yea-sayers on your list (Clark, Asimov, Simak, etc.), then later exposed to the scientific method, carries the seeds for both mysticism and materialism. Conversely, those with no formal exposure to mysticism will still feel its pull, it seemingly hard-wired into the human psyche.

Then, depending on the facts of their adult lives, they find that if they must make their own way without assistance, the materialist view yields consistent and predictable outcomes, while the mystical is inconsistent and unreliable--all the while being much more satisfying. So they are two domains, co-existing but not mutually exclusive.

At least that's how I see it... :^)

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: Machen's Hieroglyphics
Posted by: TomGoff (IP Logged)
Date: 2 October, 2019 03:24PM
I don't know precisely what musical favorites
among composers Arthur Machen had, but one definite
friend was the British composer John Ireland.
Ireland's "Legend" for piano and orchestra was
written after the composer experienced a Machen-like
visitation of mysterious human apparitions
on the Sussex Downs. Ireland wrote of this
vision to Machen, who sent back a postcard
reading, "Oh, so you've seen them too."

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