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... it, as in nothing else, we are enabled to reexperience... the unresolvable complexity of life as life presents itself to the fullest human consciousness.(49) Looked at in this way, Rabkin says, creative expression is empirical truth. Great art is not a turning away from life's problems, but a facing up to what the real problems are.(50) I agree, but with several reservations. First, when Rabkin and Bodkin speak of poetry, both refer to the works of giants such as Shakespeare, Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Chaucer. But I think the same dicta can be applied to collective subconscious folk art like the soap opera. Ultimately, it says what Shakespeare says, but in its own way. Second, Rabkin seems to restrict poetry's insights primarily to the realm of ethical and metaphysical problems, but I think his views can be applied to the physical universe as well, for duality, correspondence and complementarity in art are but mirrors of the physical world. Lastly, he seems to suggest that ...
62. Nor Heaven Nor Earth Have Been at Peace: The Contemporary Foundations of Shakespeare's Cataclysmic Imagery (Concluded) [Kronos $]
... there were two very great tides in one hour in London. What this admittedly anecdotal evidence suggests is that, in addition to the general worsening of the climate, England, if not the whole Earth, was being subjected to a series of unusual gravitational stresses, seen by the Elizabethans as intimately bound up with the appearance of comets and blazing stars. In fact, among the more horrible of phenomena at this time was a series of earthquakes and strange earth movements which occurred between 1551 and 1602 and are memorialised not only by Shakespeare but by such diverse writers as Donne and Chapman. Stowe makes a brief reference to the 25 May, 1551 quake in Southerey and also to quakes in September, 1563 (Lincolne and Northampshire), 26 February, 1575 (Yorke, Worcester, Gloucester, and Hereford), and 24 December, 1601 in London itself, following several days of thunder and lightning.(65) On 17 February, 1571, the ground opened at Kyunastone near Marcleth Hill in Hereford and certain rocks with a peece of ground removed and ...
63. Aristotle's Tragedy: An Example of Collective Amnesia [Kronos $]
... cataclysm. The tragedians themselves, both before and after Aristotle, have not been so firm on this point, and it is quite commonplace for a tragic downfall to result from some moral shortcoming or character flaw. Few writers of tragedy follow Aristotle's advice that the downfall should be "unmerited". This is not to say that the tragedians themselves are not drawing upon planetary or cosmic catastrophes for their subjects and for their plots. It is just that they are doing it in ways other than those ways recommended by Aristotle. Thus Shakespeare does not usually adhere to Aristotle's unsolicited advice to playwrights, but he does nevertheless use his plays as vehicles for plots, themes, and even characters that are based on interplanetary near-collisions and resulting global catastrophes; all these matters are admirably discussed by Irving Wolfe in his Shakespeare and Velikovsky: Collective Memory and the Springs of Art, parts of which have been pre-printed in KRONOS.(26) Wolfe argues, for example, that Antony and Cleopatra is primarily a revisiting of the near-collisions of Venus, Mars, and Earth some ...
... each new movie relentlessly repeats an unvarying scenario of death and disaster. In the meantime, the viewer can only wonder at the spectacle of repetitious self-punishment which the Japanese inflict upon themselves as though undergoing a ritual of masochistic penitence. With reference to the above discussion, it is instructively worthwhile to momentarily digress and compare the twentieth century Japanese cinematic canvases, replete with assorted monsters, to the work of the eighteenth century master Fuseli. "A German acquaintance of [the 1770s described him as 'extreme in everything- Shakespeare's painter.' Shakespeare and Michelangelo were indeed his twin gods; he even visualized a Sistine chapel with Michelangelo's figures transformed into Shakespearean characters, where the Sublime would be the common denominator for 'classic' and 'Gothic' Romanticism."(10)... Fuseli's most impressive picture- famous ever since its appearance in 1782- is the Nightmare (Detroit, Inst. of Arts), and since he said that 'one of the least explored regions of art is that of dreams,' he has been acclaimed as the painter of dreams and ...
65. Thoth Vol. I, No. 12 April 29, 1997 [Thoth Website]
... out, such images arose from the idea that the ruler of the sky stood motionless at the polar center, while yet turning the heavens. Which is to say that the philosopher's Unmoved Mover had an ancient mythical prototype in the central sun, the founder of the Golden Age. So one step in the reasoning here is simply to note the language applied by the first astronomers to the celestial pole and to compare that terminology to the earlier language applied to the great rulers of the sky. Consider the image of the pole in Shakespeare-- "...I am constant as the northern star, Of whose true-fix'd and resting quality There is no fellow in the firmament" The speaker here is Shakespeare's Caesar --whom tradition regarded as the supreme ruler on earth, a replica of the celestial power. Is it significant that he locates this supreme power at the celestial pole? Many centuries before Shakespeare, Hipparchus spoke of "a certain star remaining ever at the same place. And this star is the pivot of the Cosmos." That language turns out to be ...
66. Bookshelf [SIS C&C Review $]
... writer: space may be filled with little effort; his own largely unoriginal thoughts may be expressed more elegantly and entertainingly; and not least, his work may be imbued with an impressive air of learning- however undeserved. The news that Carl Sagan was to publish another book had us quotation buffs trembling with anticipation. Sagan's embryonic talent in this area had been glimpsed tantalisingly in The Cosmic Connection (three neat quotes) but had blossomed alarmingly by The Dragons of Eden with no less than ten pages of quotes ranging from Plotinus and Shakespeare to T. S. Eliot and Bob Dylan- a remarkable advance in both quantity and irrelevance. He wrapped himself in quotations as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of emperors- KIPLING What would Broca's Brain bring? We were not disappointed. A new record: thirty-one quotations- snippets of Shelley, morsels of Maupertuis, crumbs of Carroll and a motley assortment of the world's great aphorisms, be it from Bertrand Russell or the New York Times. Such virtuosity argues that Prof. Sagan is either the best-read scientist ...
67. A Catastrophic Reading of Western Cosmology [SIS C&C Review $]
... in their heydays. If, however, we follow a more modern (or post-modern) trend and see all large-scale belief systems as human constructs, given not by God or Nature but created by participating subjective self-interested mankind, then we can legitimately probe these constructs for their hidden agendas, which all constructs must have. That is what I shall do to cosmology here, as I did to religion in the previous article. The Faerie Queene I begin with a clue from literature. The British poet Edmund Spenser, a contemporary of Shakespeare, wrote a poem in about 1580 called 'Two Cantos of Mutabilitie', which is in a sense an epilogue to his masterpiece The Faerie Queene. In it, the problem of the nature of the universe is debated. It begins when a Titaness or Giantess called Mutabilitie challenges Jove's right to rule the heavens. She claims to be equally godlike in that she too is descended from Jove's family, but she demands the right to rule in his stead because everything in the universe constantly changes and therefore follows her principle of change ...
68. On Comets and Kings [Aeon Journal $]
... may have preserved in their sacred traditions some memory of the catastrophic propensities of comets? The Mythology of the Comet That comets were universally regarded as harbingers of natural disasters of one form or another is well-known. For many ancient skywatchers the appearance of a comet portended the end of an age or dynasty. The ancient Chinese, for example, held that "comets eliminate the old and inaugurate a new order." (9) Lucan, similarly, spoke of the "comet that changes kingdoms on earth." (10) Shakespeare drew upon this archetypal symbolism with great effect in Henry the Sixth: "Comets importing change of Times and States, Brandish your crystal Tresses in the skies." (11) During Graeco-Roman times, according to Barrett, it was commonly held "that the comet was inevitably the presage of some cataclysmic event." (12) Aristotle, for example, thought that the appearance of a comet forecast wind and drought. (13) Dio, Eutropius, and Ammianus associated the appearance of a comet with the death of ...
69. Aster and Disaster: The Golden Age - I [Kronos $]
... : Trade and Transformation, Boston, 1978, p. 180.) 28. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, Iona and Peter Opie, editors (Oxford, 1951; reprinted with corrections in 1973), pp. 213-216. (Pages 215 and 216 deal with humpty-dumpty as a game, a mixed alcoholic beverage, a riddle, and a slang expression for a short, fat person.) 29. Uno Harva Holmberg, Der Baum des Lebens (Helsinki, 1922), p. 222. 30. William Shakespeare, sonnet 18 (" Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"), Histories and Poems of Shakespeare (New York, 1943), p. 967. 31. MIFL, vol. 6, pp. 291-293. 32. Ibid., pp. 721-723. 33. DeGruyter (Berlin,1970). 34. E.A.Butterworth, op. cit. (fn.33), p.29. 35. Ibid., p. 24. 36. Henry T. Simmons, "Visit to a Large Planet ...
70. QUANTAVOLUTION: COSMIC HERETICS: Part 5: Chapter 17: THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE [Quantavolution Website]
... first dynasties of Egypt. It is that old-- and older still. So is Hamlet.... This goes on for several pages, one of several letters in the interchange going to show how much of human history and science evolves around the figure of Saturn, the great god of the Neolithic Age and beyond, everywhere in the world. I will not print Wolfe's reply, equally lengthy, also giving and taking. He has published obscurely (save to cosmic heretics) several articles on the catastrophic imagery of Shakespeare, that when published in book form (he collected a number of rejections) will constitute a formidable body of analysis on Shakespeare, by a new approach. But then Cardona is also busy with historical astrophysics, and he perceives in Deg's ideas a competitor to his own. Never mind, he has his reasons, and he writes to Earl Milton:... The evidence of myth which points to Saturn having once occupied a position above Earth's north polar regions is voluminous. There is not a race on Earth that ...
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