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Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

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Voyage to Arcturus, Flight to Lucifer

I was asked a few days ago what I so admired about David Lindsay's fascinating, hypnotic, gorgeous work Voyage to Arcturus. To answer, I gave a short excerpt from the beginning my unpublished (and perhaps unpublishable) essay on Lindsay, The Lament of Prometheus. I said at that time, to explain my misgivings and reservations about the work would require a longer answer.

My misgivings I can summarize in a paragraph. Harold Bloom, the famous literary critic, attempted to write his own version of Voyage to Arcturus, called, tellingly enough, Flight to Lucifer. My misgiving with Lindsay's work is that the title of Bloom's work would have fit it all too well, if by "flight" we mean not aviation but escape. The book is about a man who flees away from joy and life, creation and Creator, and into an aching abyss of pain and death, nonbeing and Nihilism. Voyage to Arcturus flees indeed into that spiritual nothingness fitliest called Lucifer, wretched king over all the sons of pride. It is a book with no laughter in it.

Here again is an excerpt from that same essay, explaining my thoughts at greater length. If you hear rumors of any publisher willing to publish this essay in its complete form, please tell me.

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