In a sense, I never got over Robert Lowell's History. A flawed, infinitely brilliant project I never tire of going back to. It's a modern Inferno, where Lowell plays both Dante and Virgil, guiding us through dozens of illuminating, bitter episodes from human history, all the while managing to hold a mirror to our confused hominid face as it squints at eternity and fails to grasp any of it.
Advertizing, television and film all wield mighty powers to visually seduce us, while much fine art leaves us indifferent, confused or, at worst, repulsed. There is a desperate need for creative Christians to redeem the visual arena from both forms of excess, cutting through all the false glamour, tawdry baseness and dense obfuscation.
There was a time when formal clothes were one of life's great pleasures, as well as a way of describing instantly a man's status wealth. Toffs wore the most, the proles the least. Fast forward to 2008 and clothes are still an unrivalled pleasure but some men - and this includes many of our betters - have confused status with fake informality.
He raised an eyebrow. "You claim not to know me? Of course I'm Thoth. Also called Djehuti. Also called--" I [Sadie] stifled a laugh. "Ja-hooty?" Thoth looked offended. "In Ancient Egyptian, it's a perfectly fine name. The Greeks called me Thoth. Then later they confused me with their god Hermes. Even had the nerve to rename my sacred city Hermopolis, though we're nothing alike. Believe me, if you've ever met Hermes--