a must-read on religious Zionism, youth revolt and violent Romantic Religion.
There was in him a vital scorn of all:
As if the worst had fall’n which could befall,
He stood a stranger in this breathing world,
An erring spirit from another hurled …
So much he soar’d beyond, or sunk beneath
The men with whom he felt condemn’d to breathe.
These lines, from Lord Byron’s tragic poem “Lara” (1814), vividly convey the mood of the tormented Romantic genius. He stands alone on a frozen cliff, contemptuous of all he sees below: the bourgeois society with its provincial normality, the masses caught up in a daily struggle for a slightly larger slice of the pie, the whole civilized world with its games, its rules, its falsehoods. He, the genius, is alien to all that. He fell from a different world, yet is condemned to breathe the same air as the plebeians.
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