I have so many correspondance things to consider tonight: emails to respond to, notes to read, diaries to catch up on (I'll tell yah, nothing is more relaxing than reading your diaries, thanks a lot for updating them and letting me read all about you-- it makes me feel loved! That wasn't as deep as it could have been...). I wanted to, first, talk a little about some stuff that's been bothering me lately. It's mostly religious, just to warn you!
Maybe first I'll get you up to speed on what's been going on: everyone in my family had the stomach flu. Everyone got better. Two nights ago my grandmother hurt her neck at 4:30 in the morning, and I woke up hearing her yelling downstairs, ran down the stairs, was pushed back up them by my mum who didn't want to worsen any situation, and stayed up all night worrying that my grandmother had fallen and hurt her hip because I never found out what really happened! So, I was grouchy and grumpy yesterday, with one of those little rainclouds over my head, until I started my AP English essay on T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men" as compared to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Which is transition into my points!
Firstly, I learned a lot about T.S. Eliot that I hadn't learned from the multitudes of other times I researched him for all the other essays I've written on "The Hollow Men". Apparently and thankfully he became a devout Anglican following a bout of depression after his marriage. He had already been labeled an astute scholar and writer, having gone to Harvard and participated in the most prestigious programs and wrote some very renouned poetry, like "The Waste Land". His earlier things, however, dwelt on emptiness, with a tendency towards existentialism, but "The Hollow Men" actually expresses his conversion to the Christian religion, and his confrontation with past sin (I don't know if you've ever read it, but look it up online... here is the most complete example I can find).
Now, this research made me feel happier because I just happen to love the poem, and Eliot's work as a whole (George Eliot, too, but she's a different Eliot entirely!). However, the reason I feel compelled to type about it to you is because of the criticism Eliot's received from it, especially after his death. Many other "philosophers" have since labeled him a neoclacissist (someone who wishes to create a reformation to the classic ways of thought and faith... old fashioned, basically), a staunchly conservative to a point where it retrogrades most modern processes of being. I want to point out how ridiculous I find it that any attatchment to faith, faith in any one thing, is pronounced "dependence" over "independence" in a negative light, and Christian topics are automatically neoclassicist.
Firstly, the Renaissance was considered a period of foreward-thinking when all it was was a rebirth in past ideals, so why neoclassicism can be considered vastly different in connotation is beyond me. I don't think that displaying prudence or conservatism is a bad tendancy, because it's not necessarily unproductive. Think about this: Eliot hit a point in his life where he had hit an emotional and mental wall, he was utterly unproductive... until he found religion, whereupon he wrote his most remembered work (since a lot of people don't even know he founded CATS), "The Hollow Men". Then came a plethora of plays, prose, and poetry from him. He became vastly productive with Christianity, and can't have backslided at all in that concern. How can it be any different to any other human being? If one finds faith, one has the emotional strength to overcome obstacles and become a better worker with their physical strength.
Nextly, why is Christianity regarded as utterly traditional? Why is conservatism always considered so fundamentally reserved, that it creates reservations about progress as well? Christianity has produced some of the world's greatest thoughts-- the Bible is a constant allusion in almost any considerable literary work (besides the fact the Bible is a great work itself!). If such scholars as T.S. Eliot can write about it, if directors as brilliant as Mel Gibson can make movies as impactful as one about Jesus, if I can continue to exist on the simple thought that no matter what any earth-bound-being thinks of me, I have a heavenly Father who loves me, well, gosh, it can't be too backward in philosophy, can it? Christians are constantly moving forward, not just within religious boundaries (like Martin Luther), but within world boundaries (like Martin Luther King Junior).
And conservatism can do the same. That, politically, just needed to be stated.
And now it's time for the yearly rant: I HATE Valentine's Day. I think I can actually short-hand this, since it's been done before (and before and before and...): it sucks. I know only bitter and angry people say that, but, I will anyway. I hate Valentine's Day. I don't mind the big, gaudy red jewelry, or the candy... I mind the sentiment driving it. So, instead of wishing you a happy gag-me-already-day, I'll wish you a Happy Late Mardi Gras!
So... give up anything for Lent? I didn't: I'm Protestant. Though, I should anyway 'cuz I need to cut back on something and prove to myself I don't suffer gluttony. Because that's bad. I think I will. From now on, Amanda (pardon the third-person, but this is an important declaration) is on a diet! YAY! I don't need to or anything, but I think I will benefit from it, at least mentally!
Argh, what a long entry! I gotsta go, and watch my brother play his new video game he was given as an early Valentine's Day gift (it shall thenceforth be referred to as "the 'v' word"), Fable. Toodle-oo!
**The title is an approximate John Pentland Mahaffy... another person who falls directly into my thoughts on "retrograde", except with an Irish slant. He was an Irish scholar in all things Greek, the language, the land, the ancient myths and pagan religion (remember, a pagan religion that no one follows, that's important); he claimed that the Republic of Ireland and the revival of the Gaelic language in schools was pointless, because anything Irish was "either religious, silly or indecent", and it was all a dead language and dead myths anyway. Let's review Greek myth, shall we? It's based in Pagan Religious beliefs, you can't tell me that the story of Teiresias wasn't silly, nor can you tell me that Leda and the Swan wasn't indecent, and it all comes from a dead religion. So, Mister John Pentland Mahaffy, you are a hypocrite. Nothing can be considered more progressive to the unity of a body than a revival of its past, and thus to Ireland I praise its rebirth of its own language. Erin go braugh!