Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Civilization

It's odd to be reading a book that attacks Civilization.

It's an old book, published in 1911. The author, Algernon Blackwood, says that Civilization alienates us from Nature and Our True Selves. He- or at least the hero of his book- is an extreme kind of Nature mystic. This character is currently (I am about three quarters of the way through) plunging deeper and deeper into the Caucasus in search of Union with The Earth Mother.

The Caucasus: it is- hmmm- a little hard in the light of recent events to see it as a heaven on earth.

Poor old book. You are falsified by 20th century history. You are innocent enough, but your attacks on science and reason are hard to bear.

The sleep of Reason begets monsters.

Begets true believers and God on our side and the rolling back of the Geneva conventions.

The opposite of civilization is not dancing with nymphs in a woodland glade to the wild music of Pan. That vision- that Arcadian vision- is in fact a product of Civilization.

I have one word for you- Poussin.

To the actual peasant the wild world of nature is simply a work-place.

Bloody trees.

For a man who hates Civilization Blackwood knows lots and lots of long words.

The opposite of Civilization is Barbarity.
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