Thursday, January 16, 2003

Thursday January 16, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:05 PM

At the Still Point

“At the still point, there the dance is.”

— T. S. Eliot in Four Quartets

Humphrey Carpenter in The Inklings, his book on the Christian writers J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams, says that

“Eliot by his own admission took the ‘still point of the turning world’ in Burnt Norton from the Fool in Williams’s The Greater Trumps.”

The Inklings, Ballantine Books, 1981, p. 106

Carpenter says Williams maintained that

It is the Christian’s duty to perceive “the declared pattern of the universe” — the “eternal dance” of Williams’s story The Greater Trumps — and to act according to it.

— Paraphrase of Carpenter, pp. 111-112

“The sun is not yet risen, and if the Fool moves there he comes invisibly, or perhaps in widespread union with the light of the moon which is the reflection of the sun.  But if the Tarots hold, as has been dreamed, the message which all things in all places and times have also been dreamed to hold, then perhaps there was meaning in the order as in the paintings; the tale of the cards being completed when the mystery of the sun has opened in the place of the moon, and after that the trumpets cry in the design which is called the Judgement, and the tombs are broken, and then in the last mystery of all the single figure of what is called the World goes joyously dancing in a state beyond moon and sun, and the number of the Trumps is done.  Save only for that which has no number and is called the Fool, because mankind finds it folly till it is known.  It is sovereign or it is nothing, and if it is nothing then man was born dead.”

The Greater Trumps, by Charles Williams, Ch. 14

If we must have Christians telling stories, let them write like Charles Williams.

Note that although Williams says the Fool Tarot card has no number, it is in fact often numbered 0. See

The Fool as Zero.”

See also Sequel — about the work, life, and afterlife of Stan Rice, husband of Anne Rice (author of The Vampire Chronicles) — and the following story from today’s N.Y. Times:

The New York Times, Jan. 16, 2003:

‘Dance of the Vampires,’
a Broadway Failure, Is Closing


In one of the costliest failures in Broadway history, the producers of “Dance of the Vampires,” a $12 million camp musical at the Minskoff Theater, will close the show on Jan. 25, having lost their entire investment.

Its gross for the week ending on Sunday [Jan. 12], $459,784, was its lowest, and that, finally, was the kiss of death for the show.

The death and arrival at heaven’s gate
of The Producers‘ producer, Sidney Glazier,
on Dec. 14, 2002, is described in the web page
Eight is a Gate.

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