Indeed. Even the declaration and the US Constitution will become
things of the past, one day. Perhaps all that will remain one day is that
mountain with the faces on it. Rushmore?

Keep in mind that the US is a much more religious country than England has
for a long time. It's environement is simply permeated with Christian
culture, so
if  that dies, it will die much harder.

I remember being on an interview committee nopt so very many
years ago. The candidate was expected to read and comment on
a well-known Canadian poem, by Earle Birney called
"Twentythird Flight". It is a satire on tourism in Hawaii, based on the
Twentythird Psalm. It became apparent that the candidate knew absolutely
nothing about the psalm a a background to the poem. Obviously she
didn't get the job, although that was only a contributing factor.

Then there is Gilgamesh which is apparently about 5 to 7 thousand years old.
Then there are prehistoric cave paintings, which are indeed history.

I can believbe the time is coming when the writings of peopl
like Melville and & co. will lose much of their meaning.

" No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete
meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation
is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets
and artists. You cannot value him alone; you
must set him, for contrast and comparison, among
the dead. I mean this as a principle of aesthetic
not merely historical, criticism. The necessity that
he shall conform, that he shall cohere, is not one-
sided; what happens when a new work of art is
created is something that happens simultaneously
to all the works of art which preceded it. The exist-
ing monuments form an ideal order among them-
selves, which is modified by the introductipn of the
new (the really new) work of art among them. The
existing order is complete before the new work
arrives; for order to persist after the supervention
of novelty, the whole existing order must be, if ever
so slightly, altered; and so the relations, propor-
tions, values of each work of art toward the whole
are readjusted; and this is conformity between the
old and the new. Whoever has approved this idea
of order, of the form of European, of English liter-
ature, will not find it preposterous that the past
should be altered by the present as much as the
present is directed by the past. And the poet who is
aware of this will be aware of great difficulties and


----- Original Message -----
From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 3:27 PM
Subject: Common Culture? Re: OT: Loving others?

> Peter Montgomery wrote:
> >
> >
> > As would seem a mojority of north american society. The irony is that we
> > have pretty much lost a common know;edge of the bible, which is a very
> > significant element in our culture.
> There are many significant elements in our "culture," and it seems
> inappropriate to select any one element as of particular importance.
> Knowledge of the Rape of Nanking? Of the u.s. invasion of Russia in
> 1918? Of the Philippine casualties in the u.s. invasion of the
> Phillippines after the Spanish American War? (Do you know why the .45
> automatic was invented?)
> Scriblerus on the poem contains the phrase "deluge of authors cov'rd the
> land" (not, significantly, _bad_ authors but authors period.
> And of course the world no longer consists of England, the continent,
> and the colonies! That makes some difference.
> I wonder if anyone on this list reads Persian.
> My (second) wife was rather startled when it turned out my daughters (14
> & 12 at the time)had never heard of the Trinity, but they have
> nevertheless gotten along just fine. :-)
> Some years ago a discussion of Homer on the Milton list revealed that a
> rather large number of Milton scholars didn't really understand that
> _oikos_ had a rather deep significance in the world of Odysseus, that
> wasn't quite caught up by modern "household" or "family" or "house."
> Frankly, I rather think it more important to know something about
> _oikos_ than to be able to construe the wisdom of Solomon.
> It would be even more important to understand that Social Security (by
> the very nature of things) cannot be anything else than a generational
> transfer, and that the concept of "saving for retirement" is an
> oxymoron.
> Carrol