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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Fundamentalism (cont.)

So low was the papal salary, Pius X was reduced to modelling Laura Ashley curtains on the side

Beckett fact no. 14.

Pope Pius X vigorously denounced Modernism in his 1907 decree Lamentabili sane exitu ('This stuff is well lame'): he'd read Ezra Pound's juvenilia and saw right through him. He is also fondly remembered by Catholic traditionalists for his campaigns against the banjo, postage stamps and the semi-colon. In his translation of Guillaume Apollinaire's Zone, however, Beckett reminds us how misconceived the war between fundamentalism and modernity is, since only reactionaries are always truly up-to-date. As Apollinaire/Beckett write of Pius X:

Here even the motor-cars look antique

Religion alone has stayed young religion

Has stayed simple like the hangars at Port Aviation

You alone in Europe Christianity are not ancient

The most modern European is you Pope Pius X

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