Peter Montgomery wrote:
> How convenient to be able to set up the bowling pins to your own
> preference, and then to walk away from it.
In reference to
> >If by "Eden" you mean the story of paradise in Genesis, then the Bible
> >is > our source of the idea. But that is by definition.
> *Exactly what I meant.
It seems that Williams reply confirms that Nancy, far from setting up a
straw figure, had accurately identified his account of of Eden as
tautological (and trivially so). It is certainly not a perspective on
Eden (or Paradise) that can be of much aid in understanding a thousand
years of european literature.
William seemed actually not to be aware of the pre-biblical antiquity of
the story, or of the many uses to which it has been put by many
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear'd by their breed and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,-
For Christian service and true chivalry . . . .
(Text from 1914 Oxford Shakespeare)
The Genesis text itself is both too primitive (as Whitehead observed)
and not primitive enough (as Nancy recounts) to be of much interest in
and of itself. I would imagine that both Shakespeare's and Milton's
visions figure larger in 4Q than does Genesis.