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Shades of the Heart of Darkness.
P.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Chokh Raj 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 5:16 AM
  Subject: Re: Strange Gods?


  A quotation from Lawrence someone -- most probably Rickard Parker -- posted a while back:


  "That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest
   into the clearing of my known self, and then go back." 


  CR



------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 11:07 PM
  Subject: Re: Strange Gods?



  "In depraved May, dogwood and chestnut, flowering judas, 
   To be eaten, to be divided, to be drunk 
   Among whispers; by Mr. Silvero 
   With caressing hands, at Limoges 
   Who walked all night in the next room; 
   By Hakagawa, bowing among the Titians; 
   By Madame de Tornquist, in the dark room 
   Shifting the candles; Fraulein von Kulp 
   Who turned in the hall, one hand on the door. Vacant shuttles 
   Weave the wind." 

  "Unnatural vices / Are fathered by our heroism." 

   CR




  From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 12:12 PM
  Subject: Re: Strange Gods?



  Incidentally, 'Gerontion' is a fine resumé of what strange gods our modern secular world
  is after -- in its bid to replace Christianity with a new form of paganism. What follows the
  'juvescence of the year' in Gerontion's secular milieu is not the sacrament of communion
  with the Holy Spirit but the May-time enchantments of sense. In terms of the historical 
  movements, writes Elizabeth Drew in her 'T.S. Eliot: The Design of His Poetry', while the
  'juvescence of the year' points to the birth of the Christian civilization with the 'Word' or 
  God at the centre of things, 'depraved May' points to the birth of a new paganism, and 
  opposes the Renaissance to the Nativity. 


  CR


  From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 8:50 AM
  Subject: Re: Strange Gods?



  Especially so when Eliot connects "After Strange Gods" with "Modern Heresy".


  CR


  From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 6:41 AM
  Subject: Re: Strange Gods?



  Jerome,
     Always happy to have someone keeping me honest.
  I did preface my comment by observing that it might be useful to set the
  the discussion in Eliot's own context. The context I was thinking of is that
  of conversion to Christianity and specifically to the various brands of
  Catholicism. Even myself, although I am not a convert, had very little
  background in religion for the long first part of my life. So people like Maritain,
  Gilson, Chesterton, Newman talk about how strange secular values are to them,
  their old gods as it were. The poem can be, like scripture, applicable on
  many levels. One of them is personal.  While the alien gods can be taken
  in several senses, to exclude a key Christian take on them in the modern
  (or at least Eliot's) context would seem to be very strange indeed, esp
  in the context of After Strange Gods.

  Peter

  ---- Original Message ----- 
    From: Jerome Walsh 
    To: [log in to unmask] 
    Sent: Friday, January 13, 2012 7:21 AM
    Subject: Re: Strange Gods?


    Peter,


    This question may arise out of a terminal tendency to literalism on my part.  If so, I apologize and am grateful in advance for illumination.  Why must the "alien gods" here be a reference to "secular values"?  The Magi ("astrologers from the East," as some translations call them) returned to "our places, these Kingdoms"; in those foreign kingdoms foreign gods would have been worshiped.  Since I'm no Eliot scholar (nor very astute interpreter of poetry), I see no reason to read this as allegory, or transferred meanings, or anything but a narrative poem about the Journey of the Magi.  Enlightenment would be appreciated!  Thanks.


    Jerry Walsh, biblical lurker



      From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
      To: [log in to unmask] 
      Sent: Friday, January 13, 2012 6:11 AM
      Subject: Re: Strange Gods?


      As usual Ken, a very helpful and concise statement.
      Having read all the comments so far, I thought it
      might be useful to set the subject in Eliot's own context:

      "But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
      With an alien people clutching their gods."

      Which would be hard to translate as anything other than secular values.

      Cheers,
      Peter
      ----- Original Message ----- From: Ken Armstrong
      To: [log in to unmask]
      Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2012 4:02 AM
      Subject: Re: Strange Gods?


      In a 1998 post to this list, Guy Story Brown took up the question of the context of After Strange Gods including the origin of the phrase:

      "

      The phrase "strange [=alien, foreign] gods" that provides the title occurs
      once in an unrelated context in the NT (Acts), but it occurs throughout the OT
      (at least Gen; Deut; Joshua; Judges; I Sam; 2 Chron; Psalms; Isaiah; Jeremiah;
      Daniel; Malachi), where it is thematic, and whence it gets its deep resonance
      in whole the Puritan vision of the "City set on the Hill," the "New
      Jerusalem," and so forth. Hence the Chosen People who, in analogy with the
      children of Israel on certain occasions, or with certain ones of them always,
      are implicitly now following or beginning to follow after strange gods are "us
      Americans," once descended from the Pilgrim Fathers. We (the new Israel) are
      become (or are in danger of becoming) like the Hebrews blasted by Jeremiah and
      Amos. Anyone wishing to establish or maintain New Canaan successfully cannot
      have a proliferation of free thinking Jews. The same theme is developed in
      the OT under the rubric of adultery (which violates the peoples' marriage
      covenant with Jehovah) and the offspring of such adultery (e.g., Hosea,
      Proverbs, &c)."

      Hope that helps.
      Ken A

      On 1/12/2012 5:52 AM, John Morgenstern wrote:
      Does anyone know the origin of the term "Strange Gods"? The OED offers no insight (so far as I can see at a cursory glance). I assume that it's a biblical allusion, referring to the worship of non-Christian gods. If so, is anyone familiar with the particular chapter and verse? Even more usefully, has anyone come across any explanation of Eliot's application of the term in scholarly discourse?


      With appreciation,
      John