Two different views of the past
Dan R. forwards a promotional postcard that Oberlin College sent to his son, a high school senior. It reads in part:
To create a betterNow compare that with these lines, from W.B. Yeats’s farewell poem, “Under Ben Bulben,” written four months before his death in January 1939:
Cast your mind on other daysThe liberal sees the past of his civilization as something shameful and disgusting to be confronted and eradicated. The traditionalist (though in this case the traditionalist was also a great modernist) sees the past of his civilization as the enduring source of new creativity and the wellspring of culture and peoplehood. The liberal, forever yanking his own roots out of the ground, lives in a nihilistic void. The traditionalist lives in fruitful communion between the past and the present.
Yeats says in the same poem:
Many times man lives and dies
The snippet of doggerel from Oberlin—Malcolm Pollack writes:
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 30, 2012 03:19 PM | Send