Weekend reading from Matthew Milliner
Matthew J. Milliner (a.k.a. "millinerd") has been teaching art history at Wheaton College since 2011. In a previous life he earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in the Department of Art & Archaeology at Princeton University, where he specialized in Byzantine and medieval art. In the life before that, he graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with an M.Div. degree. In the life before that, ...
Sunday, March 10, 2013
The Enduring Age of Eliot
50 Years from T.S. Eliot
February 19, 2015
That Eliot has been met with both palm branches and nails does not mean (as I’ve suggested elsewhere) we should campaign for his resurrection. “Last year’s words belong to last year’s language,” he wrote in Little Gidding, “And next year’s words await another voice.”
Curiously enough, much of this was intimated in a different advertisement from that same 1989 issue of The New Yorker. Ozick may have therein denounced Eliot’s “backward longing for the medieval hegemony of cathedral spires.” But not far from those printed words, Spain’s tourism office took out a full-page display of Antoni Gaudí’s modern Gothic church, La Sagrada Familia, boasting of its “intricate stone carvings which eloquently convey the mystery and meaning of faith.” Anticipating the formula laid out in Eliot’s famous essay, Gaudí assimilated the Gothic tradition, and yet transformed it for a new day, creating an edifice that fused the child’s delight in a drip sand castle with the polychrome gravity of Saint Basil’s Church on Moscow Square. “And the Church must be forever building,” wrote Eliot in Choruses from The Rock, “and always decaying, and always being restored.”