And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. — Matthew 7
No haut lit-ry tone like you get from those Thomas Mannish German romanticists… Nothing here that gives you the frisson of suffering and stifled sexuality from those out of fashion bards of disease and decay and decline…
No, nothing so pretty… nothing so lit-ry, so poetic.
Just the blunt wasting Godless emptiness and a long line of homeless tents in front of that part of Venice Beach that the homeless now use from sidewalk to high water as a latrine. A squatting place close to their tents or boxes or bags and above the high tide line. Out into the sands where surfers and bodybuilders once lolled when I lived in Venice there were only soft surprises coated with sand. Venice Beach: a beach that is now a gigantic human catbox with nobody to take out the litter.
and adjust, no one to drive the car
Living the dream, the California dream…. on such a wretched winter’s day.
California…. the Out of Business state.
As for Western Civilization… Well, we had some nice ideals…
The novella [Death In Venice] is rife with allusions from antiquity forward, especially to Greek antiquity and to German works (literary, art-historical, musical, visual) from the eighteenth century on.
The novella is intertextual, with the chief sources being first the connection of erotic love to philosophical wisdom traced in Plato’s Symposium and Phaedrus, and second the Nietzschean contrast between the god of restraint and shaping form, Apollo, and the god of excess and passion, Dionysus. The trope of placing classical deities in contemporary settings was popular at the time when Mann was writing Death in Venice.