"Earls, JP" wrote:
> ...of the decay of Europe after WWI.
This phrase is constantly used as though "decay of Europe" were an
obvious name for an obvious object. A piano may be a piano and a rose
may be a rose, but "the decay of Europe" is not at all obviously "the
decay of Europe."
WW1 destroyed the well-varnished life we see at the beginning of Ford's
tetralogy, but "decay" and "destruction" are not the same thing at all,
and it is not at all self-evident that Europe was "decaying" in 1920 or
what it means to say it was decaying.
(Excuse the frequent paraphrases for proper nouns. There is evidence
that a specific part of the brain retrieves proper nouns -- a different
part than retrieves other information. And clearly that part of my brain
no longer operates with maximum efficiency. I can't retrieve just now
the title of Ford's work.)