Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism

By Cathy Gere

In the spring of 1900, British archaeologist Arthur Evans started to excavate the palace of Knossos on Crete, bringing old Greek legends to existence simply as a brand new century dawned amid far-reaching questions about human background, paintings, and tradition. With Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism, Cathy Gere relates the attention-grabbing tale of Evans’s excavation and its long term results on Western tradition. After the realm conflict I left the Enlightenment dream in tatters, the misplaced paradise that Evans provided within the concrete labyrinth—pacifist and matriarchal, pagan and cosmic—seemed to supply a brand new future of writers, artists, and thinkers equivalent to Sigmund Freud, James Joyce, Giorgio de Chirico, Robert Graves, and Hilda Doolittle. 

Assembling an excellent, gifted, and kooky forged at a second of great highbrow energy and wrenching swap, Cathy Gere paints an unforgettable portrait of the age of concrete and the start of modernism.

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Then remarked, “I see you may be very tricky. Now even though it is opposed to the principles, i'll inform you whatever: YOU have been disillusioned, and also you ARE disenchanted IN ME. ” I then set free a howl, and screamed, “but do you no longer appreciate you're every little thing, you're priest, you're magician. ” He stated, “no. it truly is you who're poet and magician. ” I then cried so i may not often utter and he stated that I had checked out the images, who prefer the mere lifeless shreds of antiquity to his residing presence. . . . I then howled Psyche’s Labyrinth, 1919–1941 one hundred sixty five [To view this picture, confer with the print model of this name. ] determine 20. a few of the archaeological assortment in Sigmund Freud’s consulting room in Vienna. Getty pictures. a few extra and acknowledged that he used to be now not anyone yet a voice, and that during antiquity, i used to be taking a look at him. sixty four Freud’s chagrin that his most modern shopper had hottest the “mere lifeless shreds of antiquity to his dwelling presence” expected the original char­ acter of this psychoanalytic come upon. by myself of all his sufferers H. D. had a courting with archaeology that paralleled and equaled his. He were given a duplicate of her novel Palimpsest sooner than their first meet­ ing, and so he used to be acutely aware that she too had stumbled on a similar set of correspondences among prior and current that he had unearthed. As H. D. recorded in that very same letter: “He acknowledged I had obtained to a similar position as he, we met, he within the early life of humanity—antiquity—I in my very own youth. ” 166 bankruptcy 5 during this first letter we see H. D. and Freud energetically colluding with every one other’s self-mythologizing. H. D. confesses that she was once “so scared via Oedipus,” deciding upon Freud no longer because the discoverer of the Oe­ dipus advanced, yet because the tragic hero himself. sixty five Then, in keeping with H. D. ’s assertion that he used to be a clergyman and a magician he replied that it used to be she who was once “poet and magician,” a comment that turns out to have undone her completely—“I then cried so i'll hardly ever utter” (March 1). within the context of a talk approximately “race and the conflict” Freud then went directly to supply the archaeological metaphor a different twist, during which he figÂ�ured himself now not as an archaeologist yet as an archaeological artifact: We talked of race and the struggle, he acknowledged i used to be English from the US and that used to be now not tough, “what am I? ” I acknowledged, “well, a Jew—” he appeared to wish me to make the assertion. I then went directly to say that that too was once a spiritual bond because the Jew used to be the one member of an­ tiquity that also lived on the planet. He stated, “in fragments. ” (March 1) In his research of H. D. , Freud’s archaeological assortment performed a extra important even if much less didactic position than for his different sufferers. in the course of the moment consultation he took her into the examine that lay past the double doorways, and confirmed her the figures that have been prepared in a semicircle on his table, his viewers of deities with whom he com­ muned whereas operating: “He received, off his table, an ivory Vishnu that the Calcutta psychs despatched him, and dug out a Pallas, approximately six inches excessive that he acknowledged was once his favorite.

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