Zeev Sternhell was an Israeli scholar known for his study of fascism, The Birth of Fascist Ideology (1989).
I headed for the university library and found that book.
I read the introduction and the rest of the book ‘by index’.
Doing that, I stumbled upon the grand sweeping statements by T. E. Hulme on his hatred for the Renaissance, Rousseau and Romanticism:
“That is why he [Hulme] was so hostile to romanticism: underlying romanticism and the French Revolution, he believed, was the Rousseauist concept of the individual. Rousseau, he wrote, taught the people of the eighteenth century “that man was by nature good,” that he was “an infinite reservoir of possibilities,” and that the source of all evils was “bad laws.” According to Rousseau, the destruction of the existing oppressive order would open up infinite possibilities of progress. Classicism, wrote Hulme, was defined by an opposite conception, namely, that “man is an extraordinarily fixed and limited animal whose nature is absolutely constant. It is only by tradition and organization that anything decent can be got out of him.””
It is interesting to note that Sternhell locates the origins of fascism within the artistic realm:
“A desire to cleanse the world of the defilements of the eighteenth century and to introduce various forms of discipline such as classicism and nationalism, no less than a rejection of liberal and bourgeois “decadence,” united in a single tide of sentiment some of the most important literary and artistic avant-gardes in Europe.”
“I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time.”
That first sentence is reminiscent of the first sentence of Marquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967):
“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”
Once the boy is taken to this library with his father, this is what he sees, a library which has been compared to The Library of Babel (1941) by Jorge Luis Borges:
“The man called Isaac nodded and invited us in. A blue-tinted gloom obscured the sinuous contours of a marble staircase and a gallery of frescoes peopled with angels and fabulous creatures. We followed our host through a palatial corridor and arrived at a sprawling round hall, a virtual basilica of shadows spiraling up under a high glass dome, its dimness pierced by shafts of light that stabbed from above. A labyrinth of passageways and crammed bookshelves rose from base to pinnacle like a beehive woven with tunnels, steps, platforms, and bridges that presaged an immense library of seemingly impossible geometry. I looked at my father, stunned. He smiled at me and winked.
“Welcome to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Daniel.”
When you read the obituaries of Zafón, you read a lot about frustration of being a bestseller author lacking critical acclaim.
Vera Lynn was a British singer who is best known for the song “We’ll Meet Again” (1968).
However, I want to draw your attention to the original recording of “Comment te dire adieu” generally known as a song by Françoise Hardy/Serge Gainsbourg but actually a version of “It Hurts to Say Goodbye” (1966).
Keith Tippett was a British jazz pianist and composer who appeared and recorded in many settings, including a duet with Stan Tracey, duets with his wife Julie Driscoll), solo performances, and as a bandleader, and appeared on three King Crimson albums.
YouTube has the full album of You Are Here… I Am There (1970)
Jean Raspail was a French author best known for his novel The Camp of the Saints (1973), which is about mass third-world immigration to Europe.
Samuel Huntington in Clash of Civilizations (1996) described the novel as “searing” which was translated into Dutch as “ophitsend” which translates as ‘inciting’. He classified it as a product of “demographic pessimism”.