By Barry Spurr
In his most sweeping survey of the rise and fall of civilisations, in The Waste Land, Eliot interprets the decline of the West in the twentieth century in terms of a cyclic sequence of cultural development and concentration, and then decline and destruction, dating from antiquity to modernity … This fragmentation of a civilisation required new voices and modes of expression in literature (as in the other arts) to give embodiment to the new world that was so brutally coming into being … But nothing less than the redemption of the individual and of Western civilisation at large, depends on it, as Eliot reflected in 1931:
The World is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and save the World from suicide
Published on Weblog of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum, 30 April 2016.