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Saturday: June 2, 2007

Ponderings of a Fictional Fop

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:39 PM GMT-0500

Ambrose Silk, September 1939:

It is a curious thing, he thought, that every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste. Nanny told me of a Heaven that was full of angels playing harps; the Communists tell me of an earth full of leisured and contented factory hands. . . . . Religion is acceptable in its destructive phase: the desert monks carving up that humbug Hypatia, the anarchist gangs roasting the monks in Spain. Hellfire sermons in the chapels; soap-box orators screaming their envy of the rich. Hell is all right. The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors; it is when it tries to invent a heaven that it shows itself cloddish. But Limbo is the place. In Limbo one has natural happiness without the beatific vision; no harps; no communal order; but wine and conversation and imperfect, various humanity. Limbo for the unbaptized, for the pious heathen, the sincere sceptic.

(Evelyn Waugh, Put Out More Flags, Chapter I.7)

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