Belmont Club

The Lights of Mirkwood

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Bernardine Dohrn believed in the possibility of “immediate revolution” in 1969. Forty-one years later she was still thinking about revolution, but one directed against all she had built. “US society has been increasingly polarized in the last 3 years — very quickly really — not unlike Europe.”

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Or is American society simply trying to balance its checkbook? Attempting to pay off the debts the Generation of ’68 incurred in pursuit of the possibilities of the magical sixties?  No one described the curse of a half-glimpsed paradise better than F. Scott Fitzgerald. It can haunt a life, even a nation’s life, long after it has slipped away. And the inevitable question will always be: was the promise really there?

He wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was…

There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams–not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion. …

He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.

But to wake up and find that Daisy was really Bernardine Dohrn, that were tragedy indeed.