The spectacularization they have instituted into everyday life is drama to the nth power, drama sublimated, etherealized
, simulacrized by machinery and gadgetry undreamed of; but it is drama, or something sufficiently like it.
Despite the fact that the reality of American culture has been demonstrated, over and over again, in a series of great historical tests, Professor Fender writing from his point of view can say that "just as the promoters of New World planting were 'really' advertizing real estate, the Declaration of Independence was only announcing a new country open for business." American literature becomes in such etherealized
, tricky discourse as this: "Not, that is, any literature that happens to have been written and read in America, but the self-proclaimed canon that constitutes the subject as distinct from other literatures in English." The magisterial elegance of such a statement is woven of very airy stuff, as are so many others like it in this finely spun book.
It isn't dedicated to the dissemination of sweetness and light." Esquire trumpeted the idea of a "New Love," explicitly different from the etherealized
and spiritual ideals urged on Victorian men.
The level of public debate in this country about what is going on in the Philippines is symbolized in those editorial cartoons that show a little flower labeled "democracy' menaced by two jackboots labeled "New People's Army' and "Right-Wing Military.' In the manner of President Jose Napoleon Duarte of El Salvador, Aquino has been etherealized
as a saint of moderation, whose survival of the fifth attempted coup against her a couple of weeks ago was seen as synonymous with the survival of this same "democracy,' nurtured into being by American beneficence.
Addressed on his first evening by the fancied shades of Newman and his fellow Tractarians of some fifty years earlier, he is taken down from this etherealized
and verbal High-Church sublime and attracted to other and earthier orders of incorporation in "the most Christian city in the country" (Hardy 110): either through his own body, as his fingers run over the mouldings and carving of buildings, or through identification with the past body of "dead handicraftsmen whose muscles had actually executed these forms" (97).
This so frequent abortion of man's dearest projects must be taken as proof that the deeds of earth, however etherealized
by piety or genius, are without value, except as exercises and manifestations of the spirit.