Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Annotated Nexus - Page 19

19.0 Half of this page concerns a Berdayev quote about Dostoyevski and the hope for spiritual transformation of our world. Miller credits Dostoyevski with obliterating this hope, and for appealing to his American side, but not his "Asiatic" one.

19.1 Berdyaev
Miller follows up the previous Berdyaev quote at 18.9 "since it brings us one step closer to Heaven."

19.2 "The Church is not the Kingdom of God....."
This Berdyaev quote was extracted from The Russian Idea (1946), pp. 208-210. (a few more related quotes from this book can be found here; works by and about Berdyaev [seen in banner art, at right] may be found here.)

19.3 eschatological
Related to the religious (esp. Christian) prophecies of the end of the world and re-birth of a new one, or Second Coming. (Merriam-Webster's definition)

19.4 "rendered nugatory"
This is what Miller says Doestoevski did to any hopes ("eschatological or otherwise") he may have had, as well as any Western-influenced "cultural aspirations" he had. Miller actually places these two words in quotations; I can't figure out why.

19.5 This Mongolian side of me
By comparison, Miller notes that his "Asiatic" or "Mongolian side" remains untouched by the negation of 19.4. It was often pointed out that Miller has a slight Asian look to his appearance, especially Mongolian. This description seemed to appeal to Miller's interest in Orientalism and Eastern spirituality. He describes it as an ancestral "root" and "unfathomable reservoir" in which "all the chaotic elements of my own nature and of the American heritage have been swallowed up as the ocean swallows the rivers which empty into it."

19.6 being American-born
Henry Miller, born December 26, 1891, in New York City. Miller's Americanism is credited with sharing affinities with Dostoyevski's "characters and the problems which tormented them." Miller compares "American life" with Mr. D's "everyday Russian life." This comparison continues onto page 20.

<--- Previous pages 17 & 18 Next page 20 --->

The photograph of the Mongolian man was taken by Kim Buckley &amp;amp; Richard Baxter; from their travel blog.


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