In the 2020s world of The Fugitive Stag, a new spectre is haunting Europe, a new kind of ‘holy alliance’ this time. Eli and Anunit will face it and confront it ‘head-on.’
“A spectre is haunting Europe … all the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre. (Manifesto of the Communist Party 1847 Marx & Engels)
This world is in the Spectre’s power …
until the arrival of that hour,
when his Humanity awake,
and cast his Spectre into the Lake. (William Blake in ‘Jerusalem c1800-1803)
“I felt the struggle for illusions; I felt the pain of one disillusioned; I saw the forces of evil and good contending; I saw a man in a torment of emotion exerting himself to gain inner harmony. I sensed a human being, a drama, truth, the most ruthless truth!” (Arnold Schoenberg after attending the Vienna premier of Mahler’s 3rd symphony in 1904).
… “when I lean over the chasm of myself – it seems my God is dark and like a web: a hundred roots silently drinking. This is the ferment I grow out of.”
Rilke from his ‘Book of Hours’ (1899 – 1903)
A great all -rounder. Multi-tasker: author, critic, broadcaster, poet, translator and memoirist. He died peacefully surrounded by ‘his family and books.’ I like that. Many of my generation, with a broad interest in life, ‘grew-up’ with him on our TV sets.
His wife Prue is a celebrated Dante scholar. Clive, fascinated with the latter, spent a good portion of his life translating ‘The Divine Comedy’ (1308 -1320) which was finally published in 2013. I treasure my copy and love its dedication to Prue: “To Prue Shaw without whom this book, like all my other books, would never have existed.”
This review is well worth a read: Conveying the true spirit of genius: Clive James’s translation of The … https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/books/conveying-the-true-spirit-of-genius-clive-jamess-translation-of-the-divine-comedy-8702437.html
From his last epic poem ‘The River in the Sky’ (2018)
Yet everything began in these few thousand
Pages of print and plates. Books are the anchors
Left by the ships that rot away. The mud
The anchors lie in is one’s recollection
Of what life was, and never, late or soon,
Will be again.
Many echoed these words when this epic was published – they certainly ring true today: ‘ Thank you for all the many years of humour, enlightenment and wonderful humanity’. Hear. Hear.
Medusa and the Mystical Stag in the same story! Yes! Coincidentia Oppositorum! Yes! Yes! The Unity of Opposites. Yes! Yes! Yes! The adventures of the Fugitive Stag is full of them.
One of T.F.S.’s foundation poems is by the Spanish mystic (and dare I add ‘shaman’ ?)St John of the Cross (1542-91)’s ‘Spiritual Canticle’ and its celebration of the journey to salvation of the Wounded Stag.
Its theme of ‘intimacy and loss’ truly embodies the beginning of my quest all those years ago. And Guy’s quest.
‘Where have you hidden, Beloved, and left me moaning? You fled like the stag after wounding me; I went out calling, but you were gone …
Reveal your presence and may the vision of your beauty be my death; for the sickness of love is not cured except by your very presence and image’ …
‘If only, on your silvered-over faces, you would suddenly form the eyes I have desired, which I bear sketched deep within my heart.‘