EMERGENCE FROM CHAOS by Stuart Holroyd

EMERGENCE FROM CHAOS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

With an initial anti-humanist conviction Mr. Holroyd shows how six ports ""have reacted to the modern predicament"". Starting with the assumption that the world is fundamentally chaotic, he challenges the doctrine that man is the measure of man. How are we to order and make sense of the chaos if our aspirations are built upon our finitude, our imperfections, our ephemerality; if our values, contrived and transient, relative and arbitrary, are synonymous with our ideals? This prosecution favors a rediscovery of a religious attitude which dignifies the mind and ennobles its thought. It is only through a transcendant focus that fulfillment and self-realization can emerge. With these criteria Dylan Thomas, Whitman, Yeats, Rimbaud, Rilke and Eliot are evaluated. Thomas' reverence for an instinctive, libidinous life obliterates his personality and falls short of the religious attitude. Whitman too, in his denial of the duality of body and soul and deference to anthropomorphism is liable to accept, mediocrity as measure. Yeats was obsessed by the dichotomies in his nature and wanted to change his life; Rimbaud, aware of these dichotomies, sought to materialize them in the extreme. Rilke and Eliot represent an advance in consciousness, exercising the proper religious faculty, the intellect which transposes emotion into a universally accessible medium. Finally, Eliot, the intellectual soul, embodies truly the religious attitude, for he was able to turn his attention to social and cultural issues and historical process; away from the depths of his own soul to a permanent and more perfect object. A defined market.

Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin