I have't. It is engendered. Hell and night
Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light.
I think tragedy, though it involves a fall, is more about a terrible realization
that something has been unleashed and we have lost control. Any tragedy
could be transformed into comedy if, at an early enough point, people were
capable of understanding and choosing, if Othello would listen to
Desdemona, if Emilia would not play into Iago's plans, if Desdemona could
truly assert that autonomous spirit Othello at first acknowledged in her.
Comedy assumes we can make things right. Hell and night, once
engendered, go their own way.
Date sent: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 22:08:00 +0100
Send reply to: [log in to unmask]
From: Jonathan Crowther <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: OT--horror and phones
On Thu, 20 Sep 2001 16:52:49 -0400, Ken Armstrong wrote:
> I'm still reading/thinking/opining/maybe responding; but just want to
>intersperse that while I would agree that confusing the aesthetic with
>the actual is not good, it may be too soon to say that what is an
>atrocity may not also be a tragedy or be so from a different perspective,
>especially after one allows as how one does not understand the symbolism
>involved in the act. Miguel de Unamuno wrote about the tragic sense of
>life. I'm not sure that the tragic is not something bred in the bone.
Tragedy in simple terms is the fall of someone who has the seeds of
greatness in them. Adam is tragic. Jesus is comic. Dante is the
divine comic (Joyce's phrase in FW) because Hell is ultimately only a part
of his commedia.
The tragedy will come if the USA, a country that has the seeds of
greatness in it, falls as a result of the attack against it, the
Toynbeean blow that kickstarts all civilisations.
The tragedy has not yet happened. But it may now unfold with the
Christian Western civilisation embodied in the USA as its tragic hero.
The fact is that Afghanistan should now be a tourist not a terrorist
resort (vide Dubai and Oman, countries where I lived in the 80's).
There used to be a Sheraton in Kabul - we used to audit it out of
Tehran in 1978. When Russia withdrew the US could have provided aid and
resources (as it did post WWII to Germany and Japan). The US is a great
country but it betrayed Afghanistan, or at least allowed a vacuum, or
rather a black hole, to develop.
When the US attacks in the next few days there will be a new horror,
already surely planned, unleashed, almost certainly, we are told, in
the UK. My eldest son moves from our safe Atlantic island to London
to become a medical student next week. We too are moving as players
in the play.
My daily and fervent prayer is that the US and its eventual allies
will not join Oedipus and Lear in the tragic dust.
There is a story that the Syrians were marching south to invade Egypt and
they came across a ruined city. It took them thee days to ride past it.
No one knew what is was and they sent back to Syria to find out. No one
there knew. It was Ninevah. I used to rehearse this story and assure
myself that this could never happen to New York. I have now lost my
Civilisation is grinding on its hinges. God have mercy on us all.