Dissenting European and American Writers in the Era of the Second World War
The book’s central theme relates politics and literature to time and narrative. The author argues that knowledge of the writers of this period is of inestimable value in attempting to understand our contemporary world.
Epilogue: Rare Calendars of Feeling 470
Epilogue: Rare Calendars of Feeling1 Lear: Take heed, sirrah; the whip. Fool: Truth’s a dog must to kennel; he must be whipp’ d out when the lady’s Brach may stand by th’ fire and stink. […] — william shakespeare […] the Men who for their desperate ends Had plucked up mercy by the roots were glad Of this new enemy. Tyrants, strong before In devilish pleas, were ten times stronger now, And thus beset with foes on every side, The goaded Land waxed mad; the crimes of few Spread into madness of the many, blasts From hell came sanctified, like airs from heaven; — William Wordsworth2 Language itself became a currency debased and corrupt; token sentences rubbed clear of message, like worn coins. — James Cameron3 I am a prisoner who owns nothing but the stories he makes up about his freedom […] — Elias Khoury4 It must have been towards the end of 1980 or the beginning of 1981, just under a decade before the official ending of the Cold War, when I attended lectures on modernist architecture by the art historian Vincent Scully in the Law School of Yale University, on one of my many privileged visits to the libraries of that university. A crisp rhetorical style, lucid explanations, an always engaging argu- ment, combined with detailed expert knowledge derived from a life of writing Epilogue: Rare Calendars of Feeling 471 many superb books, ensured that the lectures were always packed out with the élite, hard-working, well-heeled young of America who had given the speaker...
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