Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Wednesday March 5, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:38 PM


“Teach us to care and not to care.”
— T. S. Eliot, “Ash Wednesday

From The Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2001:

In the movie Godfather II there is a scene when Michael Corleone is in Batista-ruled Havana. A Marxist rebel is arrested, and rather than be taken alive he explodes a grenade he had hidden in his jacket, killing himself and the officers arresting him.

His partner says: “Those rebels, you know, they’re lunatics.”

“Maybe so,” Michael Corleone says. “But it occurred to me. The soldiers are paid to fight – the rebels aren’t.”

“What does that tell you?” asks his partner.

“They can win,” he replies.

— Analysis by Arieh O’Sullivan

The date of the above analysis, August 6, was the date of the Christian Feast of the Transfiguration and the anniversary of the first use in warfare of a nuclear weapon.

“And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word* the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word….

Where shall the word be found, where will the word

— T. S. Eliot, “Ash Wednesday,” 1930

Hiroshima, perhaps?

See also my entries for Transfiguration 2002.

* Eliot does not say what “Word” he is talking about.  Perhaps it is “Arieh,” the name of the journalist who wrote the perceptive Havana passage above.  A search for the meaning of this word reveals that it means “an adult lion, having paired, in search of his prey (Nahum 2:12; 2 Sam 17:10; Num 23:24).”  This is from The Witness of the Stars, a work that views the constellation Leo as a symbol of the Messiah.  A particularly relevant passage: “The brightest star… marks the heart of the Lion (hence sometimes called by the moderns, Cor Leonis, the heart of the Lion).”  Cor Leonis, Corleone.  Is this the “Word” you meant, T. S.?

1 Comment

  1. I meant to comment on this yesterday…I did realize that TS’ Eliot’s works were so interwined with religion. Quite interesting.

    Comment by NickyJett — Thursday, March 6, 2003 @ 4:45 PM

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