“it thought itself the glory of creation when it was the pit of hell itself;”
August 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
Getting rid of the holy was a long and arduous process, and it would be opposed, slowed, it would be glacialized; but the movement in the direction of the secular was nevertheless steady and strong, accelerating when the Church was no longer a principal patron. Escaping the cold hold of humanity was more difficult because the world was always no more to man than an image in mankind’s eye; its ego was enormous, its presumption supreme; it thought itself the glory of creation when it was the pit of hell itself; the species wasn’t fruitful but it multiplied, so it could safely spend much of its time butchering its own kind; in the fifties the dead already reached around the moon, just from the slaughters of half our century, when painting turned its back on the frightful scene and decided not to be of use.
— William H. Gass, “Abstractions Arrive”