Mallarmé's Unheard Voice

by Robert Greer Cohn

    In Genesis, the sacred/nature vibrantly ambiguous relation is posed: "And the Spirit of god moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, 'let there be light.'" The same paradox, extended, gave us man "in the image of God" and, further, specially inspired "godlike" humans in Old and New Testament versions, as well as Greek sacred/secular literary-philosophical tradition (including Homer, Plato and Aristotle, e.g. his Politics). Paradox itself is posed, more abstractly, in Heraclitus and Zeno, for example. Our Declaration of Independence—"Nature and Nature's God"—combines the two traditions: Jerusalem and Athens.
    The universal aporia glimpsed in the first lines of Genesis precedes the more worked-out and humanly dramatic version later in Eden. One may say succinctly: the sacred "got into," fecundatingly, and mingled problematically with, nature—the cosmos—before the snake and dangerous knowledge got into innocent Eden and Adam and Eve. Within knowledge itself—"Adam knew Eve"—the paradox persisted as an ambiguity between fecundation as spiritual inspiration, as in the ideal master-pupil relation (reflecting God-man) and, on the other hand, the earthier sexual version: the later-come formally religious bias inevitably tends to depreciate "pagan" nature, sexuality, woman. Uninspired, rebelliously secular, "dangerous" knowledge is readily associated with these primary forces now felt to be God-resistant, corrupting, sophisticated in the original sense, like the suave snake himself.
    Ever since, there have been sporadic moves to right the imbalance of overly- systematic and male-dominated theology, religious doctrine, practice: within the Judeo-Christian tradition, there have been numerous such impulses, as early as the neo-pagan elements in the Old Testament (Rachel's
"teraphim") and Greek rational naturism, e.g. Aristotle's. Around 1715—Paul Hazard's "crisis of European consciousness"—there was a major shift from formal religion, toward enlightenment rationality on the one hand but, on the other, more wholesomely, new, more comprehensive versions of spirituality as in Free Masonry and the general faith-based free thought which characterized our finest thinkers, writers, artists, composers from then on: Goethe, Mozart, Balzac, Hugo, Mallarmé, Joyce, Kafka. Spinoza's pantheism was immensely influential in this vast evolution as was the Romantic neo-paganism of Wordsworth, Keats, and "the pagan school" Baudelaire critiqued in France.
     Rightly so: people always go too far, for a destructive while, as in the French Revolution and the totalitarian orders. Stilted, skewed, dogmatic, dumbly formalistic and crusty as, say, Catholicism can be, the anti-Christian revolt gave us far worse, including the Holocaust and Gulag. The 'sixties revolt was at first promising but was soon taken over by thugs and moral breakdown, which I saw at first hand. The decadence of families and manners, spiritual degradation of the humanities here, threatens the entire order and our ability to resist the new threats from the Middle East and East.
    Mallarmé deserves singling out for his unique importance in determining the most promising aspect of twentieth century thought. Roland Barthes rightly said: "All we do is repeat Mallarmé." l'Express, on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of his death, called him "the inventor of the twentieth century." Robert Conquest, "Our greatest living historian" (Gordon Craig dixit) called me a few weeks ago to inform me he was referring importantly to Mallarmé in his new book, The Dragons of Expectation.

    Long ago, our master critic, Edmund Wilson, in his masterwork, Axel's Castle, anointed Mallarmé as the literary equivalent of Einstein. Hugh Kenner and his mentor McCluhan followed suit. Wilson's counterpart in France, Albert Thibaudet, devoted his own best book to Mallarmé, and all the greatest critics—Blanchot, Poulet, Richard, Barthes, Kristeva, Sollers, Glucksmann, even Sartre—reserved their highest homage for the modest little almost-anonymous French poet-thinker.
    As Barthes implied, Mallarmé preceded, underpinned, and vastly surpassed in depth, nimbleness, and comprehensiveness of vision the entire important modern movements of structuralism and deconstruction. But, radically unlike Derrida and Paul de Man et al in stunted academia, like Camus who read him carefully, he "reversed his field" in our football parlance, and took his eternal stand in faith: the "Eden" which, as he told René Ghil, we "cannot do without," the north star at the end of the Coup de Dés, the "Yes" (echoed by Molly Bloom) of Quand l'ombre and Toast funèbre.
    Alas, in America today it is as if he had never existed other than as the author of the "Afternoon of a Faun" or in the distorted philosophic terms laid on him by Derrida and company. Catholic thinkers won't touch him: his beautiful and pure childlike nature-loving spirituality combined with utterly free (yet totally responsible and tradition-respecting) thought, as in his exquisite essay on Manet and the Impressionists—his friends—within the perspective of the ancient masters, seems to terrify them. They stonewall. But so do all the other generally-secular editors and power-brokers, stuck in their financially-successful and dead-end provincial coterie groupthink, like that of the cowardly defeatists who refuse to see the total threat to us and Europe now from a resurgent Islam, and our own decay. Shades of Camus's "plague" while our immune system is rotting from AIDs, drugs, steroids, endless fake imagery, physical spectator sloth, and moral acedia...
    Thank God for our soldiers. And for a "Remnant," Isaiah's, who, maintaining a piety like Mallarmé's and Camus's for the essential moral beauty, truth and poetry of our Judeo-Christian heritage and/or nature, free from the material clutter and show of vulgar human trappings, pay due homage to Abraham, Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Dante, Leonardo, Shakespeare, Goethe, Emily Dickinson, George Eliot, Proust, Brahms, Debussy, Anne Frank....

    And one who, almost as evanescent as the earthly persons of Homer, Jesus, Shakespeare, speaks quietly, almost-anonymously, and authoritatively for them all.

**

    Mallarmé's multi-polar (poly-dimensional) epistemological vision, around a tacit center of "vibratory suspense" ("Mystery in Letters")—and faith—was tentatively preceded by Aristotle in the Nichomachean Ethics (Book 6): a web of criss-crossing excess-deficiency polarities, like compass-points, surrounds a core of ideal, complex moral balance. This implies the total play between extremes and mean(s): the good (as an extreme of virtue) shifts to a moderating wisdom, as in Molière's:

    Perfect reason flees all extremity
    And wants us to be wisely-good with sobriety...

                        (The Misanthrope).
    This is a classic instance of a polarity of dimensions undercutting a familiar tension of poles, as in the use by Aristotle and Plato of the master-term "decorous" (Greek prepon). James Q. Wilson, in The Moral Sense, follows suit with his nexus defining "the nice guy." But Aristotle and Wilson (not Plato) skewed the whole picture by slighting the all-important sacred-secular balance at the paradoxical, vibrant faith-core—as we saw in Genesis, repeated in Abraham's tolerant ethical monotheism and the cross of loves, piety/mercy in Hillel and Jesus as well as Plato's chora—with disastrous impact on the whole of modernity starting roughly with the
Enlightenment. Mallarmé tried hardest of all to right the balance—"You can't do without Eden"—along with the general post-Romantic, anti-Positivist movement (e.g. Symbolist) at the turn of the twentieth century. Though handicapped by selfishly genteel anti-Semitism, T. S. Eliot's critical work on "the dissociation of sensibility" advanced this effort somewhat. But few heeded, and matters got far worse.

**

    We all began in innocent nature, filial (from mom) and pretty much like everyone else inside, at a glance. We sniffed God's air in the park like a romping dog and picked his buttercups. Later, we were told we were this or that specifically: religiously, racially, class-wise. Well, disconcerted, we discovered, here was another "undecidable" like universal incest-prohibition, between natural and imposed. One at first didn't feel, say, Jewish, but then in certain confrontations with non-Jews—e.g. Groucho Marx (or Anne Frank or an actually very-Jewish Jesus himself) vis-à-vis Franklin Graham, there was a subtle je ne sais quoi which could make one cough or laugh on occasion—leaving out the obvious brutalities and pogroms or Auschwitz.
    The two phenomena vie with each other from then on to some varying extent. Vy not?
    I recall my close friend Sidney Hook at a New Year's party not long before he died. He had drunk a glass or two of wine and broke spontaneously into a hilarious soft-shoe shuffle à la Groucho. A drunker on-looker resembling Jack Lemmon watched this puzzle with utter bafflement: they made an endearing, odd and wonderfully American couple... .

**

    The Lord of Israel and, still, Christianity is both shepherd and lamb. The blood of the Passover (Pesach, Paschal) lamb saved the Hebrew children in Egypt: the angel of death passed over them. Jesus, the mercifully sacrificial gentle Jew, Agnus Dei, offered his blood, symbolized renewedly as wine, to redeem and save his chosen people again at the Last Supper, a traditional Pesach.
    This on-going flow, like the sap (blood) of the "olive tree" of Saint Paul (Romans), is what makes Judeo-Christianity one tradition, the Bible one Book—the sap and blood become inspired ink.
    Today, we learned anew, there is a Persian lamb challenging ours.
    The newspaper speaks of "the end of an eight year effort of reform." How about overcoming our smugly provincial modern Western gab and seeing, like it or not, the electoral victory of a religious fundamentalist as a continuation of an ancient effort at Redemption?
    Naturally, those who pinned their hopes, as I too lazily did, on a (mainly horizontal) "progress" of rationally civic, secular democracy and economic dynamism were dreaming of a sentimental panacea, like Wilson's and Fukuyama's, for the "predicament of modern man" (Auden after Kafka).
    No such cheapshot luck. We'll just have to grow up, face the music of spiritual rivalry (on the battlefields too, alas) and find our way back to the wellsprings of our own beautiful (mainly Judeo-Christian) faith and inspired former lives...

**

    The integrity of monotheism emanates, gently descends, into humor, as the French word spirituel—both spiritual" and "witty"—suggests. Sarah and Abraham laughed the "first recorded laugh in history" (Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews). The cosmic breeziness of Groucho Marx, for example, earned the respect of even a noted anti-Semite like T. S. Eliot. Jews do make good comedians generally and love to laugh, as Steve Allen admiringly observed.
    A further emanation gave us free-flowing capitalism, as Jacques Attali claimed in a recent book—he found this more persuasive than Max Weber's claims for an overheated Calvinism or, we may add, Michael Novak's parallel pitch for a vital Catholicism.
    Mallarmé, in an essay entitled simply "Gold," made a subtle connection between total sacred sun-disk and microcosmic spinoffs as gold coins—or the extreme circles of zero-infinite become, like seed, the series of zeroes in vast sums of the modern financial market.
    As usual, he trumps all the others in spiritual/visionary depth, wit, and earthly reality.

**

    The Commandment against graven images, though understandable as an attempt to avoid idolatrous cults such as the Golden Calf, was poorly conceived and framed. From the beginning, a distinction should have been made between art that "magnifies" the "jealous" God of monotheism and, conversely, imagery devoted to "strange gods," whether cults of merely-natural forces such as the sun, animals—e.g. the Mithraic bull—or fetishized partial, merely-human desires such as for rebellious power and reason, gold, material wealth, licentious sexuality, and so on.
    The whole of Western history, its culture, art, philosophic controversies and dramas, turns on this whole-part (continuous-discontinuous, pure-impure, metaphoric-metonymic) distinction, which is never perfect or complete but crucial in basic direction and dialectic becoming. This is the gravamen and meaning of the sacred-secular (church-state) tension which is the backbone of Western civilization as Kenneth Clark expertly defines its particular evolutionary power and success. It is best imagined as a vertical-horizontal polarity, as in the Platonic and Aristotelian concept of the "decorous" (Greek prepon) as opposed to the simpler polarity of good-evil: wisdom, the golden mean, balance and Aristotle's definition of "equity" (as opposed to flat law) in the Nichomachean Ethics, Book 5, all depend on this fuller epistemology. The cream of modern thought in Aquinas, Pascal (the calculus), Kierkegaard, Mallarmé's polypolar vision, Einsteinian space-time, (as Eddington graphed it), Jakobson's linguistics, and Lacan's (Freudian) depth-psychology are comparably in this complex "mandalic" pattern.
    But our entire artistic and visionary history depends on this distinction between an inspired revenant magnificat in the Hebraic tradition, "Jerusalem," as Matthew Arnold and Erich Auerbach saw it, of monotheistically-focused, inward and remembering moral/aesthetic beauty, versus Greco-Roman ("Athens") polytheistic versatility, dissociated rationalism, dynamic extraversion and the cult of the pretentiously human, which led to modern scientific, and material achievements, to be sure, but at a fearful cost to the balanced sacred/secular full human person—led in a word, to the global "rat race" of our time, which threatens our very survival through weakening military morale at home, massive failure of the spirit of devotion to, and sacrifice for family (pitifully, the bereft and image-dazed children), and country.
    The grand tradition of our noble culture from Abraham, Joseph, Isaiah, Jesus, Dante, Leonardo, Goethe, through Mallarmé, Proust, Joyce, is forgotten, almost totally abandoned on our campuses and in our media and general à la page journalistic intellectuals. No one holds that golden chain of  quietly humble "magnificats" anymore, drowned out by millions of discs of popular music, churned-out sitcoms, endless sexual and pornographic fare, panderings to dangerous homosexuality (which cuts an average of twenty-five years off a life) including thousands of pedophile websites on the Internet.
    In his superb book and VCR series, Civilisation, Kenneth Clark arrests us with the row of tall sculptures of Kings flanking a main entrance to the cathedral of Chartres: their intimate spirituality, gravitas, he solemnly remarks, had no precedent in Greco-Roman culture which he defines as relatively "brutal." Mallarmé, who derided neo-classic "Greekifiers" in an essay on the insufficiencies of church ritual and Wagner (though he surely respected Plato and much else in that heritage as we all do), points to the central disaster of rationalistic, "dissociated" (T. S. Eliot) and manipulative modernity altogether, culminating in the global "rat race" which we are losing to China and our own blind fantasies and moral and deeply-personal spiritual decadence, failure of faith and character.
    Greco-Roman muscular will led to the moral and artistic hideousness of Nazi and general futurism as opposed to the Edenic Mediterranean warmth of Goethe's dreamed-of southern Land (Mignon's song), Mallarmé's ideal summery "région où vivre" ("Le vierge, le vivace..."), Camus's "eternal summer" in his vital, sweet, meridional core.
    Contrast that with the big-shot, big-time, big-money, big-city squabbling over a pretentious new, fate-tempting Babel trade tower for the Big Apple; whereas a properly tasteful "magnificat," memorializing the heroic firemen and police would be a simple, natural, lovely little monument amid greenery, costing very little. Or look at what the Olympic games in a pre-logos Greece, honoring the sacred and its graceful-bodied devotees, has become: a rat race of competing global wheeler-dealers and hustling hucksters seeking prestige and financial advantage for their swarming physically- and morally-polluted cities.
    Or look at the hydrogen fusion reactor, (to be heated to 180 million degrees Fahrenheit to provide electricity for air conditioners, etc.) being built in southern France near Matisse's chapelle de Vence, perfume-flower fields of Grasse, and olive groves, Cèzanne's Estaque, Valery's "Marine Cemetery"...The damn thing will cost multiple billions, may not work; if it does and produces endless cheap energy, it will, like Saudi Arabian oil, ruin what is left of French moral fiber, along with the whole atmosphere of that once sublimely sensual, life-drenched, art-drunk, privileged, eternally youthful, lovely, idealistic, Edenic, childishly stain-glassed and medievally-illuminated God's country...
    Better to do without power than lose all that. Better not to go and look, but just remember, perhaps repeating Sartre's undying lines at the end of a virtuoso passage in his only authentic writing, Nausea: "Goodbye, you bastards."

**

    The "happy Fall" (Augustine) in Eden made Redemption possible. The human assertiveness and "sophistication" of knowledge made possible the promise of Redemption through creative "Magnificats," testimonials to God's Glory. But the cost to the creators was as exorbitant as the revelation of monotheism was to "the chosen people." The privilege of talent, or genius as something to be atoned, paid for, is a central anguishing theme of literature: Balzac, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, T. S. Eliot, and Camus.
As an intensely "inward" freshman at the University of Virginia, I formed a particular friendship with K. M., a withdrawn, sensitive lad of German-American extraction, who became a prominent nuclear physicist. In later years, I learned by chance—we had lost contact after graduating and getting caught up in World War II—he had played an active role in founding a Jewish-Christian brotherhood.
    I thought of him again when I read about Pope John Paul II's piety to the memory of his persecuted Jewish playmates in Krakow. Also, when I read James Carroll's Constantine's Sword: he had been deeply troubled by the "country club" ostracism of a twelve-year-old Jewish bosom friend, in northern Virginia where they lived at the time. His Catholic conscience (he entered the priesthood for awhile), like John Paul II's, was sorely tried by this in the context of the Holocaust. Sister Rose was comparably troubled to the extent of importantly influencing Vatican II.
    I think back, too, to Dwight Eisenhower—of Germanic descent (via Switzerland)—who was jolted to the quick by Bergen-Belsen and began to speak of Judeo-Christianity. He had been our heart-warming American father-spirit as our military commander in the War. Hearing that good voice, in a scene of The Attic (the true film story of Miep Gies), as Anne Frank and her family and friends heard it, huddled around a clandestine radio in their precarious hideaway, I realized anew how right that good-hearted Eisenhower impulse was and could be.
    Alas, I hadn't counted on the persistent stranglehold of anti-Semitism, that "poison in the bloodstream of Christianity" (Bernard Lewis). The historically-dubious fact that, maybe, some Jews, two thousand years ago may have encouraged the Romans to crucify Jesus, and that Jews generally, ever since, had tended to deny his divinity (not all: many became Christians or were broadly sympathetic to him, as Anne Frank's family and mine were) was enough to justify endlessly repeated crimes and sins in millions of selfishly psychotic—to the point of mass-murder and synagogue burning as well as expropriation and expulsion—people whom, ironically and unarguably, a clearly Jewish Jesus would have abhorred.
    Recently I dared to use the term Judeo-Christian to a pair of well-known Christian critics and journalists, one Catholic and the other Protestant. Both broke off relations. One lapsed into a stony silence, the other hurled the Apostle's Creed at me like a spear.
    But Jesus, bereft on the cross, was as open-souled as his ancestor David had been in his Psalms. He spoke for new unmediated faith ("before Abraham") but also, in the Gospel of Mark, for an unqualified defense of the Commandments (Paul was less inspired). He was as beautifully merciful: "Neither do I condemn thee" to the adulteress as Joseph had been to his brothers—yet he sternly told her to "Sin no more"; and brought a "sword," upset the moneylenders' tables.
    Surely he was a Jew: "Salvation is of the Jews" (Matthew), proudly of the house of David, citing Abel, Abraham, and Isaac among his forbearers. He was also a unique new voice proclaiming that only through Him could one reach the Father, salvation. Again, as ever, there was a powerful undecidable, like God's goodness in the face of awful evil, even in Him, as Abraham and Moses complained, followed by David and Jesus on the cross.
    Another ancient problem here is self-preoccupied smugness hung-up on its own salvation, damn the unsaved others. Hegel got stuck in it: his phenomenology seemed open-minded for a while—mastery and vision through gutsy "pure negation," death-risk—but Kierkegaard saw through it and its settling for a neat final "synthesis" (featuring himself and a German emperor). Mallarmé independently popped this runaway pan-logical bubble and left his "supreme Game" open for further "magnificats." Adorno and Horkheimer, after the Holocaust, saw what a lethal farce this Nordic, neo-classical triumph of cancer-brain (like Jew-hating Kant's) could become.
    If Jesus himself can be seen as freely open to truth, undecidably or importantly Judeo-Christian as practically all our greatest artists in his wake were—Dante (in De Monarchia), Milton, Goethe, (who cherished the "clear, tranquil faith" of Abraham and Joseph), Mallarmé whose lifetime heroine and hero were Judaic—his adolescent chum had been Mendès)—how after the Holocaust, Anne Frank, a million and half Jewish children, Eisenhower, Sister Rose, how can one explain the selfish Christian bullies, stubborn as pit bulls, who still wield the cross "like a club," or country club emblem and clam up at the gentle suggestion of a better spirituality almost as woodenly as radical Muslims, though  less lethal and overt in their lashings-out.
    True, there are Orthodox Jews like that: David Gerlernter, in an essay in The Weekly Standard, chided Disraeli for his gracious and benign Judeo-Christianity. One imagines his discomfort at reading Proust, for example. His editors protect him from rejoinders, like this one. Groupthink wins again.
    Indeed, these different sects, though at odds in important ways, seem to cling together instinctively when something better threatens all of them with being old hat (something like this collusion has happened in European elections, it has been noted, as in the media here). If I had been safely Judaic, they could have taken that easier. Like drowning men clinging to flotsam, spars, they hang on to bits of amulet-dogma.
    Well, given the swarms of bloggers, life may seep past them in time. But don't bank on it's being what Proust called "la vraie vie." There have been very dark ages.
    As benighted as they can be, our religions are better than that. All is not lost. But why has our cultural elite proved so disappointingly uninspired, even bored? Kenneth Clark was not a bit sanguine about that.

**

    One idly turns a switch, a dial, and sees America as foreigners see it, a big-production "movie," where more or less talented and charismatic performers and Personalities vie for attention, celebrity, money, in the varyingly impressive rat race, which always ends badly; not just with normal sickness of old age and death, but with a special—specially modern and Western—ugliness of "lilies that fester" as in The Crackup, The Day of the Locust, The Magnificent Ambersons.
    Nothing really new in that: it was ever so.
    And, as ever, there are the "remnant" few, "suffering servants" (as the Hebrew slaves had been in uninspired Egypt), representing the Real Thing, as creators of "magnificats" to sacred/natural Glory or bearers of faith-based love to daunting places.
Among these few on the (more suffering than serving) creative side: Mallarmé, Mann, Proust, Joyce, Kafka; on the faithful and loving servant side: Mother Teresa, the medical missionaries, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Miep Gies.
    There is a poignant group of American celebrities who grasped the apocalyptic nature of the modern rat race and articulated it in major film expressions, but got caught in it anyway, like flies in honey: James Dean, Judy Garland, Liza Minelli, Marlon Brando, Orson Welles, Tennessee Williams. They became self-destructive, obese, wildly risk-taking, sexually irresponsible in their soul-struggle. One admires and pities.
    Like Camus in The Plague, one thrashes about in spirals of assertiveness concerning the ancient virus, pride for that, and Yom Kipperish atonement for it. How he suffered in his quest for lost innocence and his awareness of a certain narcissistic selfishness (like Tarrou's, or, as he noted elsewhere, Claudel's) in that individual yearning. In the end, his torment stopped in a flat death, like any person's or dog's, as he depicts in "The Renegade." Yet something, a "peculiar treasure," remains from his exemplary effort too, something morally and aesthetically beautiful, like Mauriac's and Buber's, which, one feels and prays, will last.

**

    In his usually sound biography of Mallarmé—unfortunately, influenced, no doubt, by his friend, Austin Gill—Gordon Millan misses the mark entirely when he claims that Mallarmé, at age five, was unaffected by the death of his mother, and not seriously disturbed by the death of his sister, Maria, when he was fifteen ("the only creature I adored"; letter to Cazalis).

This is astonishingly counterintuitive: age five is widely regarded by professionals, in my experience, as an exquisitely sensitive one for the loss of a mother's attention (often through remarriage).
    The extreme ambivalence of love-death (the Tristan-Yseut theme, familiar to Mallarmé) or, even more fundamentally, the life-death tension altogether as in the Orphic myth (cf. his "Autobiography") featuring the birth and charm-power of music, running through his poetry, especially "Hérodiade" and "la Musique et les lettres," is intimately bound up with the feminine, the maternal, and mother's milk.
    How is it possible that in Mallarmé, of all people—nothing that is existential is separate in his dream-world—the early death of his mother and sister would get shut off from his central poetic obsessions?
It isn't possible. That the hypersensitive little boy would bury it and displace it (as Freud would put it), deceiving himself at a conscious level, even later, on one occasion reported (accurately?) by Henri de Régnier, is hardly surprising to anyone who has read Freud or Lacan. As is the well-known fact of homeopathic repetition after shellshock and its equivalents.

    The evidence is practically the whole of Mallarmé's oeuvre as at least some of us read it: The musical milk of "Don du pöeme," "Sainte," the white blossoms strewn by the "fée...Qui jadis sur mes beaux sommeils d'enfant gâté /Passait..." ("Apparition"), the beauty-and-death bringing "Mère" of "Les Fleurs" or a passage in "Catholicism": "La Mère qui nous pense et nous conçoit...exaltations...que ce sera, tard, opportun de renier..."
    That almost total ambivalence about life, linked to the theme of the drowning woman (Ophelia in Hamlet, the siren at the end of "Coup de dés") is, comparable to Kafka's, Artaud's, or Beckett's, but Mallarmé's faith trumps all that: the ringing "Oui" of "Toast funébre" and "Quand l'ombre..."
    The poet was, after all, subject to the same "Pléiade" of terrors about losing maternal love and life-support that all children go through, according to modern depth psychology. The testimonial to this in world myth and literature is virtually endless: a powerful example is the child-sacrifice dream in Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain.